Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"CAPS Certification Is A Great Accomplishment This Summer"

As summer is rolling into full-swing, getting your CAPS designation ("Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist") is something you may want to plan to get done. It's great to have it accomplished for the fall, an in many cases, it gives you an excuse for a brief getaway to attend the classes - even if they are local for you.

Regardless of your profession - contractor, occupational or physical therapist (or assistant), interior designer, architect, non-profit organization for seniors or governmental entity, durable medical equipment supplier, trade contractor, building materials supplier, or so many other professions and services dedicated to helping people renovate their homes for safety, accessibility, and maneuverability - the CAPS designation can give you the tools you need to help such people stay in their homes over the long term.

People today are looking to remain living in their homes - for several reasons. People like their current homes, those homes generally meet the long-term needs of their occupants, staying is certainly less expensive than moving - even with rather substantial renovations, and people don't want to pack up everything they own and transfer it to another home and start all over getting used to a place.

The homes that people currently have may already be the right size for them to age in place comfortably and successfully, or they may need to be enlarged or reconfigured. They might need to be updated. Regardless, there are many things that we can do to help make staying in their homes safer and more enjoyable for them.

When compared to the enormous annual cost of moving into a nursing home or other retirement center, several thousand dollars that someone might spend on a one-time remodeling and updating project, in a home they already like and want to live in that offers comfort, convenience, safety, and accessibility, seem like a great value.

In taking the classes to receive your CAPS designation, you'll learn about the very large - and growing - segment of the population who already are or soon will be of an age generally considered to be "senior" - age 50 or more - and their needs. Some are going to need improvements to their homes to accommodate specific mobility (arthritis, for instance) concerns, sensory impairments (vision or hearing decrease, for example), or cognitive loss. Some are not going to be experiencing any specific issues other than getting older and needing their home to be comfortable for them.

You'll come away with several ideas on how to approach working with situations that you already have seen or that you will see when you visit peoples' homes. While there are no templates to learn as far as improvements that can be installed in most any home where people are experiencing a similar need, there are many guidelines, standards, and best practices that can be learned and applied. Much of the improvements are going to be dependent on the physical characteristics of the home even more that than the needs of the people living in them. This is why being in aging in place solutions business is such a rewarding pursuit because it's always different. There will be similarities among some renovations, but each case is unique. 

People may need a minimum of improvements, or they might require substantial work to be done. Budget is certainly going to affect this, but there are some funding sources available that the average homeowner may not realize exist. 

So, learn how you can be instrumental in helping your clients turn their present home into their forever home that continues to meet their needs over time. Get started now by obtaining your designation. CAPS classes are being held several times this summer (and in the fall also). Even if you already have your designation, there are brand new (as of a week ago) course materials and texts you'll want to explore.
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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Master 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. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn