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CAPS Training Courses: Empowering Professionals for Age-Friendly Living

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Due to the rapidly expanding population of people age 65 and older, the creating universally designed and accessible homes is crucial.

This has led to the increased significance of the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, a program developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) back in 2002.

As an occupational therapist and an NAHB approved CAPS and Universal Design instructor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of CAPS training courses. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of CAPS, its training modules, and why it’s a game-changer in the home building and remodeling industry.

What Is CAPS?

CAPS stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist. It’s a program designed to teach professionals in the home building, remodeling, and occupational therapy sectors about the challenges older adults face in their homes and how to address them.

The primary goal is to equip professionals with the knowledge and skills to create safe, comfortable, and accessible living environments for seniors.

CAPS I

Course Title: Marketing And Communicating With The Aging In Place Client

This course is required to earn the CAPS designation.

For those looking to earn their CAPS designation, this one-day 6 credit hour class is the perfect combination of previous courses.

The curriculum blends together existing training from both CAPS II and CAPS III- providing all that’s needed to proudly join the ranks as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist!

Course Overview

Millions of Americans are living longer and more active lives. Because they are embracing newly found and changing lifestyles, they need to revitalize their home environment. Identifying this burgeoning opportunity and then developing the skills to interact with this market can help you grow your business dramatically.

Purpose Of This Course

The goal of the course is to equip course participants with the knowledge and tools to effectively market and sell services to the aging in place (AIP) market.

Audience

This course is intended for builders, remodelers, vendors manufacturers architects, designers (building and interior), trade contractors, real estate professionals, health industry professionals, and the academic community.

Course Objectives

By completing this course participants will be able to:

  • Describe 3 segments within the AIP market that present business opportunities for building professionals
  • Identify access points and marketing opportunities within targeted AIP market segments
  • Explain how allied professionals can collaborate effectively to serve a targeted AIP market.
  • Identify common challenges of functioning in a real world environment for the AIP population.
  • Enhance the AIP client consulting process with effective needs assessment and communication techniques.

CAPS II

Course Title: Design Concepts For Livable Homes And Aging In Place

CAPS II

This course is required to earn the CAPS designation.

For those looking to earn their CAPS designation, this one-day 6 credit hour class is the perfect combination of previous courses.

The curriculum blends together existing training from both CAPS II and CAPS III- providing all that’s needed to proudly join the ranks as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist!

Overview

The increasing desire among today’s home owners to live in one’s home as long as possible has created a strong demand for aging in place (AIP) products and services.

To help home owners make their home a safe and comfortable living environment, many responsive and innovative products are emerging.

Likewise, service providers are answering the AIP demand by focusing their businesses on creating new homes and renovations that provide design flexibility, pleasing aesthetics, high function and usability for all people, without regard to age, income or ability level, and regardless of life’s changes and challenges.

To be a successful AIP provider, you must focus your design/build expertise and adapt your business process to execute these projects.

Scoping and estimating these jobs should address several important considerations. Special care must be applied to scheduling the work.

Legal issues require special planning and risk mitigation. New design concepts must drive proposed solutions.

This course prepares you to take on the AIP market intentionally, by calibrating your business to address the unique challenges of providing successful solutions.

Purpose Of This Course

Is to enable participants to identify common challenges within the home and understand attractive design concepts that create a safe and comfortable environment for clients who want to age in place as well as identify with one or more of these groups.

  • Individuals who are not experiencing health issues related to aging
  • Individuals who have a progressive or other condition that requires home modifications or equipment
  • individuals who are dealing with an abrupt or traumatic health-related change

The course presents various methods and techniques for modifying home design from the perspective of new construction and retrofitting.

Audience

This course is intended for builders, remodelers, vendors manufacturers architects, designers (building and interior), trade contractors, real estate professionals, health industry professionals, and the academic community.

This course is required for CAPS designation.

This course is approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc, for 0.6 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s).

This course is approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Continuing Education Systems (CES) for 6 AIA/CES Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) Learning Units (LU’s).

Course Objectives

By completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify special considerations for estimating, scheduling and executing livable home and AIP jobs while the client is in residence.
  • Identify legal and contractual considerations for building professionals providing livable home and AIP design solutions for residential clients.
  • Describe the categories of design and how they relate and apply to the 3 AIP market segments.
  • Describe specific design concepts for the livable home and AIP client.

CAPS III

Course Title: Details And Solutions For Livable Homes And Aging In Place

CAPS-III

This course is required to earn the CAPS designation.

For those looking to earn their CAPS designation, this one-day 6 credit hour class is the perfect combination of previous courses.

The curriculum blends together existing training from both CAPS II and CAPS III- providing all that’s needed to proudly join the ranks as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist!

Overview

Awareness of the aging in place market (AIP) concept in the home building industry has increased significantly so that the National Association of Home Builders Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation is becoming the preferred, if not the expected, designation for professionals working with the AIP population.

The CAPS program was created to introduce building industry professionals to the market’s growth potential and to teach techniques for expanding a business through effective marketing, communication, and solution design and implementation for this market.

This course presents detailed detailed discussions about the application and integration of design solutions in a home.

It is the final step toward developing comprehensive knowledge and honed skill for staying ahead of the curve in this ever-expanding market.

Refer to Marketing and Communicating with the Aging In Place Client (CAPS I) and Design Concepts for Livable Home and Aging In Place (CAPS II) for more CAPS training.

Purpose Of This Course

Details And Solutions For Livable Homes And Aging In Place (CAPS III) enhances your application knowledge of design concepts and solutions that meet the needs of the aging in place client.

You will explore design techniques for new structures and modifications to existing structures, expanding on the information presented in Design Concepts for Livable Home and Aging In Place (CAPS II).

The course also provides a more detailed discussion on products designed for the AIP market, their cost, availability, and detailed instruction in construction techniques.

Audience

This course is intended for builders, remodelers, vendors manufacturers architects, designers (building and interior), trade contractors, real estate professionals, health industry professionals, and the academic community.

This course is required for CAPS designation.

This course is approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc, for 0.6 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s).

This course is approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Continuing Education Systems (CES) for 6 AIA/CES Learning Units (LU’s).

Course Objectives

By completing this course participants will be able to:

  • Describe the CAPS professionals’ task and the robust opportunity to help clients achieve a livable environment.
  • Explain best practice design and installation and their typical variations for AIP home modifications.
  • Develop livable home solutions that meet clients needs and anticipate installation considerations for a single room.

The Core of CAPS Training Courses

CAPS training courses are comprehensive and cover a range of topics, including:

  • Understanding the Aging Population: Learn about the demographics, needs, and preferences of older adults.
  • Home Modifications: Learn about the various modifications that can make homes safer and more accessible for seniors, from grab bars to wider doorways, and ramps, and elevators.
  • Solutions for Common Challenges: Address common challenges faced by seniors, such as mobility issues, vision impairment, and cognitive decline, through practical home solutions.
  • Business Management and Customer Service: Understand how to manage a CAPS-focused business and deliver exceptional service to clients.

Why CAPS Training is Essential

  • Growing Demand: With an increasing number of seniors wishing to age in their homes, there’s a rising demand for professionals who understand their unique needs.
  • Holistic Approach: CAPS training provides a holistic view, combining construction knowledge with an understanding of the physiological and psychological aspects of aging.
  • Professional Credibility: Earning a CAPS designation enhances your credibility in the industry, setting you apart as a specialist in age-friendly living solutions.

The Role of Occupational Therapists in CAPS

As an occupational therapist, I can attest to the invaluable role we play in the CAPS process.

We bring a unique perspective, understanding the daily challenges seniors face and recommending solutions that improve their quality of life.

Our expertise complements that of builders and remodelers, ensuring that home modifications are not just structurally sound but also tailored to the individual needs of residents.

The Role of the Architect as a CAPS Professional

As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), an architect plays a pivotal role in designing homes that cater to the evolving needs of an aging population.

Their expertise extends beyond traditional architectural principles to encompass a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by older adults.

By integrating CAPS principles, architects ensure that homes are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, safe, and accessible for seniors.

They consider factors such as mobility challenges, vision and cognitive impairments, and the desire for independence, translating these into architectural solutions that enhance the quality of life.

From wider doorways and barrier-free showers to strategically placed grab bars and slip-resistant flooring, the architect as a CAPS professional is at the forefront of creating age-friendly living spaces that allow seniors to thrive in their homes for years to come.

The Role of an Interior Designer as a CAPS Professional

An interior designer with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation brings a unique blend of style and functionality to the creation of living spaces tailored for the aging population.

Their role goes beyond curating aesthetically pleasing interiors; they prioritize designs that promote safety, accessibility, and comfort for seniors.

Drawing upon CAPS principles, these designers consider the specific challenges faced by older adults, such as reduced mobility, vision impairments, and cognitive changes.

They incorporate features like non-slip flooring, adequate lighting, easily accessible storage, and ergonomic furniture into their designs.

Furthermore, they ensure that spaces are easily navigable, with clear pathways and minimal obstructions.

By seamlessly integrating these elements, an interior designer as a CAPS professional transforms homes into stylish yet age-friendly sanctuaries, enabling older adults to live independently and comfortably in familiar surroundings.

The Role of a Staging Professional as a CAPS Professional

A Staging Professional with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation possesses a unique skill set that marries the art of home presentation with the principles of age-friendly living.

Their primary objective is to showcase homes in a manner that appeals to potential buyers, particularly those considering their long-term needs.

As a CAPS professional, the stager understands the nuances of creating spaces that are not only visually appealing but also functional and safe for older adults.

They strategically place furniture to ensure clear and accessible pathways, highlight features like ground-level entries or step-free showers, and utilize decor that demonstrates the home’s adaptability for aging residents.

By emphasizing these age-in-place modifications, the staging professional as a CAPS expert ensures that homes resonate with a broader audience, emphasizing the property’s potential to be a long-term, comfortable residence for individuals as they age.

The Role of the Realtor as a CAPS Professional

A Realtor with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation brings a specialized perspective to the real estate market, catering to the unique needs of an aging demographic.

Their expertise extends beyond traditional property transactions to a deep understanding of age-friendly home features and the evolving requirements of older adults.

As a CAPS professional, the Realtor is adept at identifying properties that are not only a good financial investment but also suitable for long-term living.

They can highlight homes with features like single-level designs, wider doorways, and accessible bathrooms, ensuring that potential buyers are aware of the property’s suitability for aging in place.

Additionally, they provide invaluable advice to sellers on making age-friendly modifications to increase property appeal.

By bridging the gap between real estate and age-in-place principles, the Realtor as a CAPS professional plays a crucial role in helping seniors find homes where they can live comfortably, safely, and independently for years to come.

The Role of the General Contractor as a CAPS Professional

A General Contractor with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation is uniquely positioned to transform homes into age-friendly havens.

Their role transcends the typical construction and renovation tasks; they become advocates for creating spaces that are both functional and safe for older adults.

With CAPS training, these contractors have a comprehensive understanding of the specific challenges and needs of the aging population.

They are skilled in implementing modifications such as ramp installations, bathroom retrofits with walk-in tubs and grab bars, kitchen redesigns for accessibility, and door widening, among other age-in-place solutions, alongside the healthcare professional.

Their expertise ensures that every renovation or construction project they undertake prioritizes the long-term comfort and safety of its residents.

By seamlessly integrating CAPS principles into their work, the General Contractor not only enhances the livability of a home for seniors but also adds value to the property, making it a sought-after residence for those looking to age gracefully in their own homes.

CAPS training courses are more than just a certification program; they’re a movement towards creating age-friendly living spaces that empower older adults to live independently and comfortably.

Whether you’re a home builder, remodeler, or occupational therapist, enrolling in a CAPS training course can significantly enhance your professional skills and open doors to new opportunities in the booming age-in-place market.

If you are interested in earning your CAPS designation, please contact me at 352-281-6681 or at homedesignsforlife@gmail.com

Optimize your services and make a difference in the lives of seniors. Get CAPS certified today!

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