Certified Aging in Place Specialist: What Do They Do and How to Become One?

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Most older adults want to age in place but do not understand the home modifications necessary to do it safely. The Certified Aging in Place Specialists helps them understand what changes are needed for successfully living in their home for a long time.

According to the CDC, aging in place is the ability to live comfortably and independently in one’s own house while taking into regard age, ability, and income levels. Many elderly people in the United States are using this method to live without depending on others. 

The statistics indicate that 76% of American seniors above or at age 50 prefer living in their current home rather than opting for an alternative like retirement homes or assisted living. 

Certified Aging in Place Specialist

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These people desire to remain in their homes because they don’t want to leave the environment they have come to grow close to and leave the neighborhood and community relationships they have built for years.

Most people like to remain in their homes, but they don’t know about house remodeling and modifications that will make their homes more suitable for the challenges of their older age. 

This is where a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) comes in. A CAPS helps to determine whether they can age in place in the current setup of home and what modifications they will need to continue living there. This guide will help you get the necessary guidelines on becoming CAPS and help seniors age in place.

What Are CAPS?

A Certified Aging in Place Specialist is a person who understands the need of seniors aging in place and provides necessary home remodeling through home remodeling technology, resources, and tools. 

Many older adults like to remain in their homes and communities; however, to age in place requires measures to follow to make the home accessible to aging in place. Older adults need CAPS to determine if they can grow old in their own homes. 

A person with the CAPS designation gets training from NAHB to satisfy the needs of the growing aging populations. Typically they use remodeling ideas to make seniors’ homes necessary for living at old age without needing much assistance. 

CAPS students learn many valuable strategies and technologies to establish a competitive, sustainable remodeling business with older adult clients. CAPS students also study the home remodeling expenditures, product ideas, codes and standards, and resources to provide older adults.  

Certified Aging in Place Specialist

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How Do You Become an Aging-in-Place Specialist?

To become a CAPS, students undergo a total of twelve hours of continuing education for three years. These hours are divided into two groups of six hours each; one has to be earned from academics and the other from remodeling industry activities. 

Generally, NAHB provides training to CAPS professionals. However, people with different professions such as building, occupational therapists, and other interested professionals can also become CAPS. To obtain the CAPS certification, you must complete the CAPS training course. 

The requirements for CAPS graduation from the training course includes:

  • You have to submit a complete application with the correct information for CAPS graduation through the NAHB website.
  • Sign and submit the code of ethics for CAPS.
  • After applying for CAPS, you must complete the training course period with credibility.
  • After completing CAPS coursework, you can obtain CAPS certification.

For the Contractor and Remodeler, the following information is necessary to follow for CAPS graduation:

  • The company’s business license.
  • Documents of liability and workers’ compensation of the company.

What Does CAPS Certification Mean?

After a CAPS student qualifies certain criteria for the CAPS designation, they receive a CAPS certification. NAHB remodelers, AARP, and other research centers design the programs to teach students business management, technical information, and customer service to serve the needs of older people. 

After the teaching, they provide their students CAPS certification. With the help of this certification, professionals can be involved in remodeling business with seniors. They help the seniors to plan modification and age in place requirements at a particular level and remove all barriers for older adults to remain in their homes.    

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Certified Aging in Place Specialist

Training for Certified Aging in Place Specialist

The 50+ House Council of AARP and NAHB research center developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist program. To get the CAPS designation, students have to meet specific criteria, including CAPS training set by the NAHB Remodelers. CAPS training requires the coursework that contains the requirement to complete three courses to get the designation.

The course for CAPS training include:

  1. Marketing and Communication Strategies for AA
  2. Design/Build solutions for AA
  3. Business Management for Building Professionals 

What Does an Aging-in-Place Specialist Do?

A CAPS helps in home modifications for seniors to create an ultimately safe and comfortable environment necessary for them. The specialist provides typical modifications such as installing grab bars for toilets and tubs in bathrooms, replacing doorknobs with lever handles, and installing handrails on stairways. 

A CAPS also modifies the house depending on the specific medical needs of seniors. The professional works to make changes to the home, including widening doorways and ramps when a person with any medical condition where they need a wheelchair for movement. 

A certified Aging in Place specialist also provides other modifications, including switching to low-maintenance interior finishes, low-maintenance yard, lower appliances requirement, lower kitchen cabinetry, and pull-down shelves. These remodeling methods help seniors lower their workload and help them remain in their homes without needing assistance. 

There are more valuable modifications ideas that certified aging in place specialists know and use for specific remodeling for aging in areas. They help seniors to prevent falls and other barriers to living independently.

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Certified Aging in Place Specialist

What Is the Most Common Aging-in-Place Remodeling Project?

The NAHB provides CAPS professionals with many remodeling checklists for seniors who desire to age in place. The most common type of remodeling project includes increasing safety in the home by adding grab bars in most areas, especially in the bathroom. 

A CAPS applies non-slip treads on the stairways and non-slip rugs on the floor to prevent falls. Seniors are more likely to fall in the bathroom and on stairways due to loss of balance.

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Wrap Up

With the help of the certified aging in place program, the professional can learn how to modify homes for older adults when they desire to remain in the house. 

Certified Aging in Place Specialist

The national education designation designed this program to help seniors to live independently after retirement. CAPS professionals help seniors at all three levels, including community level, residential level, and personal level, to achieve aging in place.

We hope this article gives you all the information you need to become a CAPS. If you have more questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section, and we will get back to you. And if you like the article, please do promote us on social media!