What is an Aging In Place Specialist and How Can They Help

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,752
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care talks about how to choose a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. This video focuses on what a Certified Aging in Place Specialist does, why you should use one and how they can help.

    How to Choose a Certified Aging in Place SpecialistWhat an Aging in Place Specialist is and How they Can HelpMary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today I'm talking about how to choose a Certified Aging in Place Specialist.

    Now I'm going to talk about what a Certified Aging in Place Specialist does, why you should use one and how they can help. The National Association of Home Builders, (NAHB) for short, worked in collaboration with its research center, 50-plus Housing Council and AARP to develop the Certified Aging in Place Specialist or CAPS program.

    The CAPS program is the leading national educational designation designed to teach professionals how to modify homes for aging in place. Since 2002 more than 2200 individuals have completed CAPS, making it one of the fastest growing educational programs at NAHB.

    Most CAPS professionals are our modelers but an increasing number are general contactors, designers, architects and healthcare consultants. In general these individuals can identify or make home modifications and changes to help your senior loved one continue to live independently and safely in their own homes.

    CAPS specialists can provide solutions to common obstacles that make houses unsafe or uncomfortable. They have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building astatically enriching barrier-free living environments. Certified Aging in Place Specialist go beyond design to address codes and standards, commoner modeling expenditures in projects, product ideas and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging in place solutions.

    Every CAPS graduate pledges to uphold a code of ethics and is required to maintain their designation by attending continuing education programs and participating in community service. All of this is done to protect the consumer and in particular the senior population, which unfortunately is often the target of fraud.

    Remember, CAPS professionals are providing a service, so regardless of which Certified Aging in Place Specialist you use to help your parents remain in their home; you may also need to hire a remodeler to help with renovations. To find a CAPS Remodeler you can visit nahb.


    Before hiring a company the NAHB recommends that you ask the CAPS Remodeler some important questions. First, find out how much experience they have with this type of work. Be sure to select a remodeler with plenty of experience and remember the lowest price doesn't always ensure a successful remodeling project.

    Second, check references; seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and others, who have had similar work done by the Remodeler.

    Third, verify the Remodeler has the appropriate license in your area as well as liability and Workers' Compensation insurance that covers their employees.

    You should also check with your local or State office of Consumer Protection and the local better business bureau to see if the company has upstanding complaints.

    Fourth, ask your professional remodeler for a Written Estimate of the work to be done based on the set of plans and specifications.

    Certainly it's common sense to do your homework before hiring a contractor, but it's especially important to help your parents with the task to be certain that they are getting a legitimate service delivered by reputable companies.

    One other thing to note, if your parents rent, they will need to get written approval from the landlord or management company before doing any work. If they are refused, we recommend getting the denial in writing and contact the local Fair Housing Act, FHA agency.

    While modifying rental housing to make disability accommodations is generally permissible, landlords can require restoration of the apartment to pre-accommodation status when the tenant leaves. So keep that in mind when thinking about budgets.

    In the next video, we'll talk about seven things to consider while evaluating the aging in place features your parents may want or need in their home.