What is an Aging in Place Specialist?

What-is-an-Aging-in-Place-Specialist-In-Copy-ImageConsider these two facts: Right now, about 90 percent of people 65 and older are aging in place, according to the AARP. Secondly, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there will be 40 million seniors alive in 2035.

If the first trend favoring independent living continues, it means by 2035, there will likely be about 35 million seniors living in their own homes.

If you are a senior looking forward to aging in place, you should know that there are aging in place specialists available to help you prepare your home for the long term by ensuring risks are minimized – risks that can be magnified if you live with mobility issues.

What Does a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Do?

As physical and mental abilities begin to decline, the rug in your entryway or the dim lighting on your staircase can present new dangers in your home. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist, also referred to as CAPS, surveys your living quarters and alerts you to such in-home dangers. They can also recommend modifications and remodeling projects you might want to consider to further reduce the risk of injuring yourself in your house.

How is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Trained?

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) created the Certified Aging in Place Specialist specifically for those contractors who complete a comprehensive educational program in association with aging experts (including the AARP). Aspiring specialists are asked to complete multiple courses and testing to earn their certification.

The coursework is intended to help contractors understand the needs of older Americans so they can recommend appropriate solutions to common in-home safety risks. A variety of contractors earn an aging in home certification, including home remodelers, contractors, architects and designers.

What Can a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Do?

Once they earn certification, the contractors will have the training and insight they need to fully assess a home environment for safety risks and make recommendations and work with other contractors, remodelers or other professionals to ensure a home is sufficiently prepped for a senior seeking independence.

Typically, they …

  • Discuss modifications with the homeowner or a caregiver;
  • Work with a remodeler or contractor to install safety devices in a home, including:
    • Lighting in dark hallways and staircases
    • Railing on steps and staircases
    • Grab bars near toilet and in bathtub
    • Walk-in showers
    • In-home elevators
  • Offer information about building codes, resources and costs and project timelines for all projects.

How Much Does a Certified Aging in Place Specialist Charge?

The cost of the services depends upon the specialist. They may charge by the hour or by the project. If your remodeler or contractor has an aging in home certification, the final fee may be included in their overall project cost.

If you are planning on aging in place and living securely in your home for years to come, download our free, informative guide Safe Home. Happy Home, which offers an array of tips to help improve the safety of your home.