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CAPS Certification Classes Can Give You An Edge

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In today’s rapidly aging society, the demand for homes that cater to the unique needs of older adults is on the rise.

As an occupational therapist, real estate professional, home builder, stager, or interior designer, how can you stand out in this burgeoning market?

The answer lies in the CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) certification. Offered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), this certification not only equips you with the knowledge and skills to serve the aging population but also gives you a competitive edge in the industry. Here’s why:

1. Understand and Apply Aging-in-Place Concepts

The CAPS certification program provides an in-depth understanding of the aging-in-place concept.

You’ll learn about the 3 market segments that make up the AIP market, how to collaborate and network with other AIP professionals, and specific challenges older adults face in their homes and how to address them with effective and innovative solutions.

This knowledge is invaluable, especially when clients are looking for experts who can provide tailored recommendations.

2. Boost Your Credibility

Having a CAPS certification under your belt showcases your commitment to professional development and expertise in the field.

It acts as a seal of approval, assuring clients that you have undergone rigorous training and are well-equipped to handle their specific needs or at least know who to recommend.

3. Stay Updated with Industry Trends

The CAPS curriculum is updated every 3 years to reflect the latest trends, research, and best practices in the aging-in-place sector.

By enrolling in these classes, you ensure that you’re always at the forefront of industry knowledge, ready to offer the most current and effective solutions to your clients.

4. Expand Your Network

CAPS certification classes offer a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals.

These interactions can lead to collaborations, referrals, and a broader understanding of the market dynamics. Being part of the CAPS community provides you with a network of experts to lean on.

5. Enhance Your Marketing Efforts

In the world of digital marketing, SEO, and social media, having a niche specialization like CAPS can set you apart.

It allows you to target a specific audience, create content that resonates with them, and position yourself as an authority in the aging-in-place domain.

6. Diversify Your Service Offerings

With the knowledge gained from CAPS classes, you can diversify your service offerings. From home assessments and modifications to consulting and training, the possibilities are vast.

This diversification not only increases your revenue streams but also enhances client satisfaction.

Visitable Design in Homes

Visitable design is a forward-thinking approach to home construction and renovation that emphasizes a minimum of accessibility for everyone, regardless of their age or physical ability.

At its core, visitable design ensures that homes are welcoming to all, including those with mobility challenges.

Key features often include a zero-step entrance, and wider hallways, and one bathroom on the main floor that is wheelchair accessible.

By integrating these elements, homes not only cater to residents as they age or face temporary disabilities but also to visitors, friends, or family members who may have mobility impairments.

This inclusive design philosophy champions the idea that every home should be a space of comfort, safety, and ease of access for everyone who enters, making communities more inclusive and connected.

Livable Design in Homes

Livable design, often synonymous with “universal design,” is an architectural and interior design philosophy that prioritizes functionality, safety, and adaptability for all residents, regardless of their age, size, or physical capabilities.

The essence of livable design is creating homes that evolve with the changing needs of its inhabitants.

This means homes are not only accessible and easy to navigate for young families, but they also remain comfortable and practical as residents age or face unexpected physical challenges.

Key features might include open floor plans, non-slip flooring, adaptable kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and lever-style door handles.

By embracing livable design, homeowners invest in a future-proof living environment that emphasizes comfort, independence, and longevity for all stages of life.

Adaptable Design in Homes

Adaptable design refers to the architectural and interior planning of homes with the foresight that spaces might need to change to accommodate the evolving needs of its residents.

Unlike fixed designs, adaptable design emphasizes flexibility and modularity, allowing homeowners to easily modify spaces without significant renovations.

For instance, walls can be movable or removable, kitchen counters can be height-adjustable, and bathrooms can be easily retrofitted to include grab bars or roll-in showers.

The primary goal is to ensure that as life circumstances change, be it due to aging, the arrival of a new family member, or a temporary or permanent disability, the home can be quickly and efficiently adjusted to meet those needs.

Adaptable design not only ensures longevity and functionality of a living space but also promotes sustainability by reducing the need for resource-intensive renovations.

Universal Design in Homes

Universal design is a holistic approach to architectural and interior design that seeks to create spaces accessible and usable by the widest possible range of people, regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

The goal of universal design is to create a living space that anticipates a homeowner’s changing needs, as well as the needs of family and guests, and is inclusive of all physical and cognitive abilities

Better Homes & Gardens

Rooted in the belief that design should serve everyone equally, universal design in homes incorporates features like zero-step entrances, wider doorways, lever-style handles, and open floor plans that are naturally accommodating to both a toddler and an elderly individual.

It goes beyond mere accessibility, aiming for inclusivity, ensuring that every design choice, from the layout to the fixtures, is intuitive and user-friendly for all.

By embracing universal design, homes become timeless sanctuaries where residents can age in place, and visitors of all abilities can move with ease and comfort.

The seven principles of universal design were developed by a group of architects, product designers, engineers, and environmental design researchers led by the late Ronald Mace at North Carolina State University.

These principles provide a framework to guide the design of environments, products, and communications to be usable by as many people as possible. Here are the seven principles:

  1. Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities. Ensures features are used in the same way regardless of the user’s abilities.
  2. Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
  4. Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
  5. Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  6. Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

These principles serve as a guideline for designers to create products and environments that meet the needs of as many users as possible.

Accessible Design in Homes

Accessible design in homes focuses on creating environments that cater specifically to the needs of individuals with disabilities, ensuring that they can use and navigate spaces without hindrance.

This design philosophy prioritizes barrier-free living, incorporating features such as ramps or lifts for entrances with elevation changes, wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, lower countertops, and roll-under sinks for easier access.

Bathrooms might include grab bars, walk-in tubs, and roll-in showers, while visual and auditory aids could be integrated for those with sensory impairments.

The essence of accessible design is to provide autonomy and independence to individuals with disabilities, ensuring that their homes are not just places of residence, but spaces of empowerment, comfort, and safety.


The aging-in-place sector is poised for significant growth in the coming years.

As the baby boomer generation enters its golden years, the demand for homes that cater to their unique needs will skyrocket.

By investing in CAPS certification classes, you’re not just gaining knowledge; you’re positioning yourself as a leader in this niche market.

So, whether you’re an occupational therapist, a home builder, or someone passionate about making homes more accessible, CAPS certification can give you the edge you need to succeed.

The Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) certification is a professional designation offered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

It is designed to educate and train professionals on how to design and remodel homes to meet the needs of aging adults.

If you want to learn more about earning your CAPS certification, please contact me at 352-281-6681 or

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