Aging in place is a new term used to describe an improved living situation for the elderly. The aging in place movement acknowledges the need for modifications to be made to living conditions for aging individuals while also acknowledging the security and comfort that comes from remaining in your own home as you age.
Aging in place allows individuals to continue their lives as normally as possible despite the changes that age brings. This solution is an ideal union of respect and care which improves the quality of life for elderly people.
What is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist? (CAPS)
CAPS stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist. This professional can assist families who are looking for solutions to keep their loved ones safely at home as they age. This person can bring in resources from the remodeling market and technology market that will help families find the tools and resources needed for successful aging in place.
CAPS are trained professionals who specialize in the needs of the elderly and aging population. They are well acquainted with the common types of remodels required to create a home that is aging-friendly.
Specialists advise you on the codes, standards, expenses, and other details that will go into an aging-in-place transition. The main objective of a CAPS specialist is to help families create a living environment for their loved ones that is both safe and practical for the elderly individual’s needs.
A CAPS professional receives training through the National Association of Home Builders. During this training, they learn the many ways they can assist families to create a remodeling project that focuses on aging-in-place needs.
Not only do building professionals seek out this type of training, but occupational therapists, as well as health care workers, can also benefit from aging-in-place training. This helps all of these types of professionals provide better resources and services to the aging community.
Benefits of Aging In Place (With a Specialist)
The way in which an individual will want to spend their golden years can vary greatly from person to person.
Many aging people are excited about making a move to a retirement community and appreciate the levels of care that these communities can offer.
Not everyone wants to move, though. For those who wish to remain in their own homes as they age, the idea of moving to a new place can cause anxiety and depression. It is the responsibility of the family to take into consideration the feelings and emotions of their elderly relatives when these types of decisions need to be made.
A CAPS can help you navigate these types of conversations and the many considerations that need to be made.
Aging in place is a much more attainable goal today than it was in the past. Resources, both financial and community-funded, are more readily available for these types of projects. Technology also makes aging in place safer now than ever.
Homes can be equipped with sensitive communication and security systems that help other family members stay in constant contact with their aging loved ones. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of aging in place.
Aging in place is far more cost-effective than nursing homes and assisted living facilities. By the time most seniors will be in need of aging-in-place services, they have likely paid off their homes or are very close to paying off their homes. Once a mortgage is put to rest, the individual will save thousands a year on living expenses.
It is also important to note that even programs such as Medicare or Medicaid only pay for elderly care if the individual has liquidated all of their own assets and resources. This is not a sustainable solution and does not benefit the individual or the family in the long run.
You can talk with CAPS about the comparison in costs between facility living and aging in place remodeling.
In a situation where a senior has friends and family nearby who are willing to help with certain tasks, it makes a lot more sense financially to pull together as a team to help care for someone while they stay in their own home.
Not every aging person has the resources of friends and family or stable housing, but for those who do, aging in place can be a great option.
Another important aspect of aging in place is that for many it is simply more comfortable. The familiar surroundings of your own home can sometimes offset the many stresses of aging. The elderly are dealing with many emotions as their bodies, lifestyle, and quality of life change.
Staying in their own home provides a great deal of comfort as they make these big transitions. CAPS helps ensure that your loved one can stay comfortable and safe in their home with home modifications.
Individuals who are forced to move against their will in their elderly years, often deal with more memory and mental health issues than those who are able to stay at home. This could likely be caused by the disorientation associated with a big life change.
Even in the best of circumstances, moving and changing your entire life around can take a toll on mental health. If you are already aging and dealing with anxiety or depression, moving could be an overwhelming blow. Aging in place removes this added stressor.
Choosing the Right CAPS for Your Situation
If you have decided to use a certified aging-in-place specialist, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to make sure you choose the right professional for your situation. Here are a few tips to help you pick the right CAPS.
You will want to do your research. Making changes to your loved one’s home and living arrangements will be an investment and you want to make sure you are getting it right the first time by using someone reputable.
Talk To Other Clients
If possible, reach out to the CAPS’ past clients to get an honest opinion of their work.
Find out what insurance resources are available to help with expenses.
Common Questions About CAPS
Is Aging in Place Expensive?
Compared to an institutional residence, aging in place is the most cost-effective option for the elderly. This is especially true if the individual has friends and family nearby who can help with some tasks.
Will My House Still Look Like My Home?
Many aging individuals are concerned that an aging-in-place remodel will drastically change the appearance of their home. A CAPS will take into consideration these concerns and plan modifications to cause the least amount of change. It is important to note that there will be some changes, but every effort will be made to keep the home a safe, comforting haven.
Should I Remodel Now or Wait?
Many aging people are often hesitant to make changes. It is important for the family to help their loved one understand that making changes now will ensure that they are able to stay in their home longer.
Stay In Your Home Longer
Aging can be a hard transition for every family. Finding innovative solutions that help everyone feel safe and comfortable is the number one priority of a certified aging-in-place specialist. Looking for ways to keep yourself or a loved one at home as they age peacefully? These professionals often help tremendously.