Taking care of the elderly has never been easy and requires many essential medical skills. To become an A Certified Aging In Place Specialist, you need to take multi-disciplinary courses and get certified by the CAPS organization. So How To Become A Certified Aging In Place Specialist? Keep reading resTORbio’s article to learn more information.
What is Aging in Place?
The fastest-growing segment of the home remodeling market is residential modifications for the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, aging in place is defined as living comfortably, safely, and independently in one’s home, regardless of income, age, or ability.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates that approximately 23 million Americans care for their elderly parents.
This number is expected to rise as the baby boomer generation enters retirement. The United States is expected to see a double-digit increase in the number of over 65-year-olds over the next 20 years.
The Public Policy Institute of the AARP hosted a solution forum on December 8, 2011. The AARP (National Conference of State Legislatures) and the NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) presented a joint report about promoting aging at home.
This forum focused on transportation, state land usage, and housing policies that allow the aging population to remain independent in their homes and communities.
Most adults over 65 want to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. In 2010, almost 90% of those surveyed by AARP stated that they would prefer to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
This desire can be hindered by a lack of services or community support, inaccessible housing, and unfeasible housing.
Lack of housing options can lead to social isolation, and some older adults are forced into institutions when they don’t need it.
This increases healthcare costs and makes it difficult to find communal housing for those who truly need it. Accessible public transportation is essential for people living in rural or isolated areas.
The automobile has been the dominant mode of land use in the United States. This is particularly true in suburban areas. Around 21 percent of Americans 65 and older don’t drive.
This is due to their inability to drive, lack of a vehicle, or a driver’s license. Over half of those who don’t drive a vehicle do not normally leave their home on most days.
What is a CAPS?
In collaboration with AARP, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). This designation is obtained through testing and training during a multicourse educational program.
A Certified Aging in Place Specialist is familiar with the needs of older adults and can help you solve common problems. Not only are CAPS designers and remodelers, but also OTs, architects, and other professionals can be certified.
A certified Aging-in-Place Specialist can:
Recommendations for updates that will allow a person to live independently in their own home
An occupational therapist can develop a home modification or building plan. It will take into account the safety and functional requirements of each household member.
Discuss building and design strategies with an interior designer or licensed contractor to create attractive and barrier-free living spaces.
Information about building codes, standards, products, and resources. Also, information on the time and costs involved in common remodeling projects.
CAPS professionals and remodelers are not health or medical professionals. They may be paid per hour or a flat fee for each visit or project. For assistance in finding a certified Aging-in-Place Specialist in your local area, call the NAHB at 1-800-368-5242.
How To Become A Certified Aging In Place Specialist?
CAPS was created in 2001 by several divisions of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with the AARP and is now administered by the NAHB. You must complete three courses to become certified.
Marketing and Communication with the Aging In Place Client (CAPSI) are designed for the specialist to effectively communicate with homeowners the benefits and details associated with aging in place.
Design Concepts for Livable Homes and Aging in Place II (CAPS II) explores the legal and practical aspects of building or remodeling a home for AIP.
Details and Solutions for Livable Homes and Aging in Place III (CAPS III) focus on the actual work of remodeling a house, including the most current products and techniques.
Classes are typically held for three days at builders’ association’s offices, conference centers, and building supply stores. A typical class lasts from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can find out more information on the NAHB Education and Events page.
Although prices vary depending on where you live, the average national fee is $279 for members (3 courses to complete) and $419 for non-members.
For members, graduation fees cost $75 (or $145 if you choose the premium option), and for non-members, $110 or $218. Members pay $55 and non-members $83.
Additionally, you will be required to sign the CAPS code for ethics and complete 12 hours of continuing education every three years.
Working with a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist
Seniors make up a large percentage of homeowners who invest in AIP modification, but they are not the only ones who might be interested in hiring a CAPS-certified contractor.
It may be beneficial for those who have elderly relatives or friends to remodel their bathroom or in-law suite to host guests.
Like all home remodeling projects, AIP jobs can take weeks to complete, so it is best to start before your family member needs major changes.
It is better to choose a CAPS-certified builder than to have a non-certified contractor try an AIP remodel. CAPS professionals have been trained to recognize the needs and concerns of seniors.
They also know how to balance practical aspects of aging in places with the beauty of a beautiful house. They can also work with an occupational therapist to help you choose the right updates based on your needs and desires.
The following are some of the most popular AIP enhancements:
Seniors with mobility issues can prevent falls by grabbing bars and rails beside the toilet and in the shower. Three bars cost $150 each.
Seniors love to have their bathrooms updated with walk-in bathtubs or showers without the step. The cost of the tub and shower is estimated at $1,500 to $2,000 and $5,000 to $7,000.
Accessible ramps and doorways that are indoor and outdoor can be made wider to make it easier for people with disabilities or walkers to move around the house.
Cost estimates: Outdoor ramps cost $100-$250 per ft. Automatic doors cost $200-$2,000+
Smartphones can integrate smart technology, such as cameras, sensors, and health alerts, into a safer, more suitable environment for seniors.
Cost estimates vary: For two examples, the average cost of installing a smart thermostat is $170. Three to four security cameras will run about $1,000.
Kitchen modifications are made to make it easier for you to reach the counter, microwave, and sink from a sitting position. Expect to spend at least $15,000, although the cost will vary.
For people living with arthritis, touchless faucets are available. Cost estimate: $150-$275+
Flooring upgrades such as anti-slip flooring in the bathroom or thinner carpeting can reduce falls and prevent trips.
Cost estimates: New carpet costs $7-12 per square foot, non-slip flooring costs $1-4 per square foot, depending on the material.
Search the NAHB’s online directory for professionals with home-building designations to find a CAPS contractor in your area. To see a list of CAPS builders and contact information, type CAPS into the search bar.
Why Choose a CAPS?
There are many reasons older adults choose to stay in their homes and communities. These are all important. A senior who has lost a loved one may feel closer to him if he stays in the same house for many decades.
Although residential care homes and independent private communities are important facilities, seniors may feel isolated if they are not surrounded by their friends, neighbors, and other social amenities.
It can be overwhelming to learn new routines, find new hairdressers, grocery shops, local shops, restaurants, and navigate new neighborhoods.
This can be a nightmare for an older person with a confused mind or a declining memory. Not only is it difficult to transfer medical records, but it can also be dangerous. It cannot be easy to seek help when you need it.
A CAPS professional can help make your home aging-ready. This certification gives you the confidence that the specialist has been trained to create solutions suitable for older adults.
CAPS professionals use universal design principles to help create a more secure, comfortable, and independent home.