Retired life often conjures up the idea of living in a new place near the beach or mountains. While some people may choose that route, more homeowners are deciding to live out their golden years in their existing homes. The “age in place” approach affords homeowners the ability to live comfortably and independently in the safety of their own home regardless of their age or ability.
Many existing or older homes are simply not equipped to meet the needs of the Baby Boomer generation. To help make a smooth transition into this stage of their lives, many Baby Boomers are searching for builders and remodelers who can help turn their home into a more convenient place to live as they age.
As part of National Designation Month – a month where the National Association of Home Builders shines a spotlight on industry professionals who go the extra mile to attain advanced training and achieve specialized designations – we recognize the importance of professionals who have received the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation.
CAPS professionals are helping homeowners find aging-in-place solutions that fit their specific needs and budget. CAPS remodelers and builders are trained to understand the unique needs of aging adults without sacrificing the aesthetic value of the home.
While there are various ways CAPS remodelers can help make your home work for you, some of the most common aging-in-place renovations include:
- Wide doorways. Doorways that are 32-36 inches wide let wheelchairs pass through and make it easy to move large items in and out of your home.
- Extra floor space. Allows for the homeowners and their guests to feel less cramped in their space.
- Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces keep everyone on their feet. Handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms will also help homeowners maneuver easier.
- No-step entry. No one needs to use stairs to get in and out of the home.
A CAPS Designation Makes a Difference
Aging homeowners looking to renovate need to be able to find a remodeler they can trust completely, and the CAPS designation helps give homeowners a guarantee that they’re working with a trustworthy professional who’s an expert in aging-in-place renovation. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects and health care consultants.
CAPS designees pledge to uphold a strict code of conduct, so you can be sure that they will listen closely to your specific needs and will never push you to add any renovations you don’t need. In addition, CAPS professionals also commit to attending continuing education programs, so they are always up to date on the latest aging-in-place technologies and strategies.
If you’d like to speak with a remodeler in your area with a CAPS or other designation, contact Irons Brothers Construction at www.ironsbc.com You can also search the online directory of CAPS certified firms at nahb.org/capsdirectory.
— By Joseph Irons, CAPS Instructor & President of Irons Brothers Construction, Inc.