CAPS is one such designation, and a very strong and influential one at that.
Certified Aging In Place Specialist - CAPS, is widely recognized as the leader in providing expertise and knowledge about understanding and modifying home living environments to make they compatible with the ongoing needs of the residents of those dwellings.
It has taken 15 years to get to this point, but aging in place, and more specifically CAPS, is resonating with the public. There is a constant discussion in various forums among consumers, caregivers, and professionals about aging in place.
We have several organizations that are helping to promote the CAPS program and designation to and through their members - and ultimately to the public. In addition to NAHB and AARP which created the program, the NKBA, ASID, AIBD. AOTA, APTA, AIA, among others, are encouraging their members to become certified and to use the principles advanced in the courses in their practices. Other organizations in real estate, design, and aging in place are likewise recommending and endorsing the program and encouraging their members to get the designation.
This is a huge amount of chatter about the program that underscores both the need for it and its importance in affecting the lives of all it touches.
As a result of CAPS-trained professionals, people now have a way of remaining viably in their homes as they get older. Aging in place is no longer something that just a few can hope to attain. It is within the reach of nearly anyone. Even people who can't afford or don't desire to undertake any type of special aging in place renovation or modification projects in their homes are still part of what is happening. They are able to be part of aging in place even by doing little or nothing to their living spaces.
Of course, CAPS is most concerned with helping people to achieve their aim of living in their current homes successfully by actively taking to steps to assess and evaluate what currently exists and make a determination about how to proceed. For some the required changes are going to be minimal because the condition or age of the structure is such that significant changes are impractical, too expensive to be cost effective, or not really needed beyond a few safety improvements. For others, their homes are going to require major work to make them into the accessible, safe, convenient, and enjoyable homes they are capable of being.
It's not the amount of work that needs to be done, the age of the homes, or the abilities of people living in such homes that is the main point. It's that they don't have to settle for what they have, and they don't have to move into something else. Their homes, which they have come to love and which provide safety, security, comfort, and peace-of-mind to them as places they enjoy spending their time, can remain their anchor. They don't need to even consider leaving them.
This is the major premise of aging in place and why the CAPS program has been so successful We are helping people to remain in their homes and set aside any thoughts of needing to move as they get older or perhaps have more pressing physical impairments that otherwise might challenge their ability to remain in their homes. CAPS professionals are trained to understand their changing life conditions and to meet them effectively by creating solutions that accommodate them.
This is a great time to have the CAPS certification, and it's only going to get better as more and more people seek us out for our help.
Let's make sure we are letting people know that we are CAPS trained and how we can help them. Having the training is the first step. Using it is the next.