What is Aging In Place?

Aging in place means remaining in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level. It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives. It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a “home” for a lifetime.

How long do you plan to live in your current home?

If you are like the majority of Americans over the age of 45, you want to continue living in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years. According to the AARP, older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to age in place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.

AARP Landmark Study

The AARP landmark study Fixing to Stay was a wake-up call to the residential industry. The results of the study sent two messages loud and clear:

  • Americans prefer to remain in their homes as they mature rather than seek assisted living and other arrangements
  • Older consumers want a reliable means of identifying professionals they can trust to remodel their homes

The CAPS program has been developed to help building professionals meet the needs of this burgeoning market.

Before you modify your home

Keep in mind that when you hire a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, you are buying a service rather than a product. Each CAPS professional draws from a different knowledge base and will approach your project in a different way.

How should you modify your home to make it more comfortable?

To age in place you will probably need to modify your house as you mature to increase access and maneuverability. These modifications range from installation of bath and shower grab bars and adjustment of countertop heights to the creation of multifunctional first floor master suites and installation of private elevators.
The Remodelors Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with the NAHB Research Center, NAHB Seniors Housing Council and AARP developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) program to address the needs of consumers who want to make their house a home for a lifetime – regardless of one’s age, or functional abilities.
A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist is specially trained in:

  • The unique needs of older people;
  • Home modifications that can help people continue living independently in their homes longer;
  • Common remodeling projects;
  • Solutions to common barriers.

CAPS professionals have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments. The CAPS program goes beyond design to address the codes and standards, common remodeling projects and their costs, product ideas and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions.