What is CAPS? A Specialist Approach to Aging

Aging-in-place is a relatively new phrase used to describe something which has been very desirable to millions of Americans. The goal of aging-in-place is to remain in your chosen home, safely, for as long as possible. As we age and our physical and cognitive functioning changes, so should our chosen surroundings. For instance, over 30% of nursing home admissions are traceable to a fall in the resident’s home.  Modifications to the home may need to be executed to make it as safe as possible and to prevent injury which could lead to a long-term nursing home placement.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recognized a trend of their clients seeking to age in place. With the baby boom generation entering the aging process, they are faced with many options for services to make their living environments evolve to fit their diverse needs. NAHB responded by developing a program to designate professionals as Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS). The coursework required to earn this title is intended to help professionals grow their businesses in remodeling, building, contracting, and occupational therapy. Beyond supporting their businesses overall, CAPS designees aim to offer their clients the reassurance that their homes are the proper environments in which to age safely and securely.

When reviewing options for professionals to make modifications to your home, be aware that those with the CAPS designation have been specifically taught about design and building solutions for aging and accessibility. Home modifications can range in type and in cost. Examples of home modifications executed by CAPS professionals are the installation of grab bars, task lighting, stair lifts, and ramps. There is also a growing trend to remodel the structure of bathrooms to increase overall safety during personal care activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing. Modifications can be used to help homeowners and also frequent visitors who could benefit from heightened safety precautions. For more information on the required courses to achieve the title of CAPS and a listing of professionals in your area, visit www.nahb.org.

At Weatherby & Associates, PC, one of our goals as a life care planning law firm is to help our clients to live as well as possible,  as long as possible, and as much as possible where they want to live. Our Life Care Coordinator can offer a home assessment and make suggestions for invaluable home modifications that can support a family’s goal of a loved one aging-in-place. Just as CAPS designees strive to support their clients’ goals, we offer long-term care services which go beyond traditional elder law firms. For more information about what makes us unique, contact our office at 860-769-6938.



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