Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"We Need To Share Our CAPS Story With Others"

Those of us who have taken the CAPS coursework and received our designation know how it has provided additional insight and knowledge for us on how evaluate the needs of our clients, look for homes that we can serve, and provide solutions, products, and services for people of any age or ability that might be interested in renovating their living space to make it more comfortable, convenient, accessible, and safer - and to allow them to stay in their homes long-term. Those who haven't taken the coursework yet are looking forward to acquiring this background.

Once we complete our training - whether that was relatively recent or a couple of years ago - we need to make sure that the people who can benefit from what we offer are aware of our credentials and abilities.

As a group, CAPS designees represent a vast array of professional specialties including general contractors, custom home builders, renovators, remodelers, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, home health, visiting nurses, case managers, physicians, rehab personnel, other health care professionals, handymen, interior designers, decorators, kitchen and bath designers, durable medical equipment providers and installers, building material manufacturers and sales representatives, trade contractors, attorneys, insurance agents, lenders, real estate sales professionals, stagers, architects, university faculty, home inspectors, senior service and aging agencies, nonprofit organizations, and many others.

Nevertheless, we took the CAPS courses because of what we wanted to learn or how we envisioned being able to apply our credentials so people need to know that we are available to help them and that we have a very special expertise allowing us to work with their issues - or the issues of close family members and friends.

Often, we already were working in a caregiving capacity or familiar with issues that needed to be addressed from our own personal situation. In some cases, that was our incentive or motivation for taking the coursework and obtaining the designation. 

Therefore, we need to share our CAPS story as often as we can. We know that people want to stay in their homes as they age, and we also are aware that people who need home improvements and modifications largely are unsure how to locate a reputable contractor or to get someone like an OT or DME provider to help them evaluate their needs.

By discussing our designation with existing customers, their families, new people we are meeting, people who ask what we do, and being open to new situations as they arise, we will be educating people on how they can age in their homes more comfortably and effectively and spreading our message among people who are looking for what we offer.

Our website and social media profiles can help us do this also.

People aren't going to automatically know that you have the CAPS training or how they can benefit from it without us helping to inform them. Many people are aware of CAPS through the combined efforts of NAHB, AARP, AIA, AOTA, APTA, ASID, NKBA, AIBD, and similar organizations. However, they may not have a good explanation of how they can benefit from working with a CAPS professional, and they may not know that we have the designation. Marketing is quite important for spreading the word and sharing our CAPS story with the marketplace.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.