What Does a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Do?

What Does a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Do?
Certified Aging in Place Specialists: How They Benefit Seniors

Certified Aging in Place Specialists: How They Benefit Seniors

As people age, health challenges and physical disabilities can make living independently increasingly difficult. Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) are experts who help seniors stay safe and comfortable in their own homes. CAPS help seniors customize their living environment so they can minimize the risk of falls and promote independence.

CAPS specialize in making home modifications that allow seniors to age in place. This means they can stay in their own homes as long as possible, rather than needing to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Many seniors prefer to age in place, as it can be difficult to leave the familiarity and comfort of their own homes.

CAPS are knowledgeable about the unique needs of seniors, such as limited mobility, balance and vision difficulties. They understand how to create a home environment that is accessible, comfortable, and safe. They focus on maximizing independence while minimizing the need for outside help.

Aging in Place

Aging in place is a term used to describe an individual remaining in their home or living setting for as long as possible, regardless of age or physical ability. It emphasizes independence and the ability to live safely and comfortably at home throughout life’s journey. As individuals age, their homes can be adapted for easier use and more safety, which makes the process of aging in place much simpler. This concept has become increasingly popular over the last few decades as advancements in technology and home design have made this type of living more accessible and attractive.

The goal of aging in place is to provide seniors with emotional, physical, and psychological support, allowing them to stay in their homes as long as possible. It also allows them to maintain their independence and remain active and involved in their communities. By having a customized home that accommodates their needs, seniors can experience greater quality of life and enjoy the comforts of home for many years to come.

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    What Does a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Do?

    Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) provide personalized solutions to enable seniors to continue living in their own homes as they age. The primary goal of CAPS is to create a home environment that is safe and comfortable for seniors as their needs evolve.

    CAPS professionals are knowledgeable about the principles of aging in place and have the expertise to assess a home and develop a plan to make it more livable for older adults. To evaluate a senior's home, a CAPS will perform an assessment, identifying potential areas of concern, such as safety hazards or lack of accessibility.

    Once the assessment is complete, the CAPS will recommend design solutions to make the home safer and more usable for the individual. This may include adding grab bars in the bathroom or installing a stair glide for easier access to the second floor. CAPS can also advise on products that may be beneficial, such as adjustable beds and walk-in tubs.

    The CAPS will work with the client to create a design plan that meets their needs and budget and then help implement the solutions. They can coordinate with contractors and other professionals to ensure that the work is completed properly. In addition, a CAPS can provide information and resources to help seniors manage the cost of modifications, such as grants or low-interest loans.

    Home Assessment Process

    When working with a senior, a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) will go through a thorough home assessment. This process helps the specialist craft a personalized plan to fit the needs of the senior in question. It involves assessing any potential safety hazards or accessibility issues within the home.

    The specialist will do a walk through of the property, paying attention to any features that need improved for better access and safety. This includes things like:

    • Stairways—measuring the steepness and width of each step; ensuring adequate lighting; checking handrails and guardrails in good condition
    • Doors and doorways—checking that entry and hallway doors are wide enough for wheelchairs; assessing thresholds for ease of access
    • Floors—assessing the surface's slip resistance; checking for rugs or loose throw rugs that may create slipping hazards
    • Kitchen—checking for adequate lighting; evaluating counter space and kitchen appliance height
    • Bathroom—checking for grab bars; assessing shower height and size; evaluating toilet height and placement.

    A comprehensive assessment also includes an evaluation of the interior design elements of the home such as furniture, accessories, and clutter. The CAPS will provide helpful suggestions on ways to make the home more livable, usable, and safe.

    Finally, the specialist will provide a report to the family outlining solutions and recommendations on how to improve the home to support independent living. The report might also include ideas on how to reduce energy costs and other home maintenance tips. This report is an invaluable resource to the family as well as a great starting point for implementing changes to enhance the home.

    Design Solutions

    A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) helps seniors stay safe and independent at home by designing solutions that meet their changing needs. This often means making modifications to the home environment that enable seniors to live as independently as possible, while providing them with the safety and security they need.

    The CAPS design process begins by carefully assessing the client's home environment and then evaluating the potential risks. The information obtained from this assessment is used to create a plan of action that takes into account the unique needs of the elderly person. For example, if there is a risk of falls in the home, the CAPS might recommend installing grab bars, non-slip surfaces or other elements to help reduce this risk.

    Other measures taken by a CAPS to ensure the safety of seniors in their home could include reconfiguring doorways to allow for easier access, installing adjustable shower rails or assisted living technology such as automatic lighting and temperature control systems. In addition, a CAPS can provide advice on how to modify furniture and appliances to make them more user-friendly and age-appropriate.

    When creating a design plan, a CAPS takes into account the individual’s capabilities, lifestyle and financial resources. This ensures that the modifications address the clients’ needs while being affordable and practical. A comprehensive design plan should also take into consideration any current or future medical conditions that could exacerbate existing risks or create new ones. The goal of the design plan is to create an environment that allows seniors to remain in their own homes with safety and dignity.

    Implementing Solutions

    Once the home assessment has been completed and a design plan is in place, it's time to begin implementing the solutions that will make the senior's living space safer and more comfortable. The certified aging in place specialist will typically provide oversight for the entire project, working with contractors and other specialists as necessary to ensure that the work is completed properly and meets the needs of the senior. Depending on the scope of the project, the CAPS may coordinate all aspects of implementation or may just provide consultation.

    A typical home improvement project would involve multiple steps, from ordering materials and scheduling time for installation to completing the necessary paperwork. The CAPS can review the plan and cost estimates and help identify any potential issues. They will also provide guidance and support throughout the process to ensure the project is completed successfully.

    The CAPS will also ensure that all materials and products used are up to code and meet safety standards. They will inspect the completed work to make sure it has been done correctly and will coordinate with building inspectors or other authorities to ensure the project passes all inspections.

    Once the project is complete, the certified aging in place specialist will evaluate the improvements and recommend any additional steps that may be necessary to ensure the senior is safe and comfortable in their living space.

    Benefits of a CAPS

    Having a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) work with a senior to personalize his or her living space can provide many advantages and benefits. A CAPS is specially trained to understand the unique needs of seniors and use the latest technologies, building techniques, and products to their advantage. Some of the advantages that a CAPS can offer include:

    • An understanding of the psychological and physical limitations seniors may face
    • An understanding of available home modifications that can make life easier and safer for seniors
    • The ability to develop a plan that reflects the individual needs of each and every senior
    • The expertise to design customized solutions that are cost-effective and meet local building codes and regulations
    • The expertise to help maintain a safe, comfortable and independent living environment for seniors

    By working with a certified aging in place specialist, seniors can be assured that they are getting the most suitable and safest solution for them. In addition, a CAPS can provide valuable information on available services and resources that would otherwise not be known.


    A certified aging in place specialist provides a valuable service to seniors who want to remain in their homes as they age. CAPS have the necessary knowledge and expertise to assess homes for potential safety hazards, design solutions to address those issues, and implement those solutions to help keep seniors safe and independent. The value of having a certified aging in place specialist on your side cannot be overstated - they offer invaluable insight, support, and peace of mind to seniors and their families.

    FAQs about Certified Aging in Place Specialists

    A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is an expert in designing and remodeling homes so that seniors can age safely, comfortably, and independently. But what do they actually do? Let’s answer some common questions about CAPS.

    What kind of training and qualifications do CAPS have?

    CAPS must meet certain criteria to be certified. This includes having at least two years of related experience, completing an approved program or apprenticeship, and passing a special exam. Once certified, they must stay up to date with continuing education to maintain certification status.

    What services do CAPS provide?

    A CAPS helps seniors design custom solutions for their home to make sure it is safe, comfortable, and accessible. They assess each senior’s individual needs and formulate a plan to enhance the home and make it suitable for aging in place. Examples of services provided by a CAPS include installations of nonslip flooring, grab rails and shower benches, widening doorways for wheelchair access, and more.

    What is the cost of hiring a CAPS?

    The cost of hiring a CAPS will vary depending on the scope of the project and work required. Generally, you can expect to pay an hourly rate of $60-80 for assessment and design services, plus additional costs for materials and labor.

    How long does it take to complete a project?

    The time it takes to complete a project depends on the complexity of the design and any renovations or remodeling involved. Most projects take anywhere from one to three months to complete.

    Glossary of Terms

    Aging in place is the term used to describe living in a comfortable and familiar setting as one ages. It allows seniors to remain in their home as long as possible, with the help of specialized services and products.

    A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has attained an accreditation from the National Association of Home Builders for expertise in remodeling or modifying homes to accommodate the needs of aging residents. CAPS can provide senior-friendly design solutions to ensure seniors are safe and comfortable in their home.

    Universal Design is an approach to product and space design that aims for the versatility of use by people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. Universal Design incorporates key components such as versatility, dimension, lighting, color, layout, function, safety, and accessibility.

    Fall Proofing is the process of making a home safer, reducing the risk of falls, and helping seniors maintain their independence. Fall proofing involves making changes to the home or providing assistive devices that make it easier for the senior to manage. Examples include installing grab bars and non-skid flooring.

    Environmental Modification is the process of altering a home to increase safety, accessibility, and comfort. This includes removing obstacles and introducing features designed to meet the individual’s specific needs, such as wheelchair ramps, raised toilets, and lever handle door knobs.

    Resources for Aging in Place and Certified Aging in Place Specialists

    The growing popularity of aging in place has made it increasingly important to find reliable resources to help seniors stay safe. Certified Aging in Place Specialists have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, so it’s a good idea to explore helpful websites and other resources related to the topic. Here are some useful resources that can be of great help in aging in place:

    • Aging in Place Technology Watch: This website provides a comprehensive list of products and technologies that are useful for aging in place. It also offers helpful recommendations from experts for seniors.
    • National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications: This website offers valuable information about home modifications and how to access support services.
    • Home Safety Council: This organization provides educational resources and suggestions to increase safety at home.
    • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Aging in Place Program: This program offers grants and other resources to help seniors with housing costs and to encourage aging in place.
    • National Aging in Place Council: This organization offers many resources and assistance programs to help seniors stay in their homes.

    These resources can help seniors and their families find the support and information they need to remain independent and safe. Certified Aging in Place Specialists can provide additional guidance and support to ensure seniors can age in place safely and comfortably.

    A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is a professional who helps seniors remain in their homes as they age, by making customized modifications and upgrades that improve safety, accessibility, and comfort. CAPS are knowledgeable about the physical and psychological needs of seniors and specialize in assessing the home environment, developing customized plans for aging in place, and implementing necessary changes.

    During the assessment process, CAPS walk through the home with the senior and their family, evaluating each room to identify potential hazards and areas that may require modifications. They then create an individualized plan that outlines what needs to be done, and the most effective and efficient way to complete the work. This plan includes design solutions and products that are tailored to the senior's needs and budget.

    Once the design plan is finalized, CAPS help to implement the necessary changes. This may include installing custom grab bars, widening doorways, installing stair lifts, and more. CAPS also suggest accessible furniture, appliances, and fixtures that will make it easier for seniors to move around safely, and they provide resources and referrals if additional services or support are needed.

    The benefits of working with a CAPS are numerous. Having a customized aging in place plan can give seniors greater independence and dignity, while making it easier to live in their homes longer. CAPS are also a great resource for family members, providing peace of mind that their loved ones are safe and secure.

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