Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"At Long Last, CAPS III Is Here!"

It's finally here - CAPS III, that is. After several years of talking about having a CAPS III class to complete the Certified Aging In Place Specialist designation, and through a long period of hopeful anticipation, the CAPS III class was created earlier this year. It was taught for the first time today.

We had a great experience teaching it today in Chattanooga to a group of OTs and contractors. That mix made an excellent combination of skills and abilities for the way the course is designed and presented.

As we move forward from today, OTs, contractors, designers, architects, and others who have been looking for design scenarios to explore as a part of their CAPS training will really like the new course. While there were design exercises in the former CAPS II class that involved the McDonalds – actually 3 separate activities for a well-written case study about them – there was no budget and no prioritization of needs to address.

The current CAPS II class also has design exercises, but again with the focus is on addressing shortcomings in general and not for looking at a specific household, individual needs within that home, a set of priorities, or a budget to work within or meet.

The new CAPS III class steps in to fill this need for a more specialized design exercise and add a very practical laboratory to the training. There is a case study of a married couple who have lived in the same home for decades but now face a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease for the wife, while her husband is experiencing hearing loss and arthritis. In addition, at least one of the adult children and spouse is going to be moving in with them to assist in caregiving. They have immediate needs in their bathroom, kitchen, and entrance.

There are three other case studies in the course, including one involving a young boy with autism, another for a teenager involved in a traumatic auto accident that requires an immediate response for a mobility and general access solution, and a bathroom utilization issue for a mid-seventies aged couple – she with MS and he with arthritis. There is a multi-generational aspect to this case as well.

The exercises in the course are practical and budget sensitive, involve determining priorities, and lead to creative, powerful results.

This CAPS III class - "Details & Solutions For Livable Homes & Aging In Place" - becomes the final requirement for earning the Certified Aging In Place Specialist ("CAPS") designation, along with the CAPS I ("Marketing & Communicating With The Aging In Place Client") and CAPS II ("Design Concepts For Livable Homes & Aging In Place"). The "Business Management for Building Professionals (BMBP)" class that has been the final requirement for the designation is being replaced by the new CAPS III course. For the rest of the year, either CAPS III or BMBP can be used to satisfy the requirements for completing the CAPS designation, but beginning the first of 2018, only CAPS I, CAPS II, and CAPS III will be accepted.

With the new CAPS III class, there will be no exemptions granted for completion of other professional designations like there has been with the BMBP class. This means that all CAPS holders from now one will have completed the same curriculum to earn their designation. This common experience is beneficial to the program and to consumers.

The BMBP class is still valuable and will be a great elective for CAPS professionals to take as a continuing education (CE) class to help provide direction and perspective for building and running their business. It just no longer will be a requirement for the designation.

Welcome to the CAPS family, CAPS III. Anyone taking the training from now on will enjoy the new format, and anyone already holding the CAPS designation that desires an additional course to bolster their credentials should consider taking the new class as continuing education.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place 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.