Aging-in-place is the ability to live in your own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.
It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout yours or your loved ones maturing years, and the ability to enjoy the daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives.
It means being able to call your house a “home” for a lifetime.
One of the most difficult decisions families have to make with or about their loved ones is where to live as they get older.
Can they stay at home? Will they have to move in with us? Would it be better to move them into an Independent or Assisted living community?
Fears arise as we think about all of the things that could happen if your loved one lives alone.
Why are they insisting that they age-in-place? Don't they know that anything could happen?
What if they fall?
What if they burn themselves in the kitchen when using the stove, oven, or microwave?
Can they safely go up and down stairs?
How are they going to bathe and toilet themselves safely?
What if they have to use a wheelchair or walker? Will they be able to get through the doors?
What is going to happen when their health worsens?
How do I figure out what needs to be done?
Who can help me figure this out?
When your loved one is aging, engaging the services of a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) can be a thoughtful and proactive step to help decide if aging-in-place is possible by ensuring their safety, comfort, and independence at home.
Why Hire a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)?
The CAPS Designation was developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in partnership with American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and is administered by NAHB.
Professionals who have earned the CAPS designation are experts in designing and building aesthetically-enriching, barrier-free living environments. They have been trained in the unique needs of the aging population and apply strategies and techniques to provide comprehensive and practical home modification solutions.
CAPS graduates also pledge to uphold a professional code of ethics and are required to take continuing education to maintain their designation.
When you hire a CAPS, you are buying a service rather than a product.
BENEFITS OF AGING-IN-PLACE1
1. The advantages of a familiar neighborhood: the individual knows the shops and services and can navigate the area well even after physical or cognitive decline.
2. The advantages of a familiar home: spatial competence (finding your way when the power goes out, navigating steps out of familiarity)
3. Preserving familiar relationships – friendships and service providers.
4. The attachment to possessions and pets is not disrupted (e.g., vs. moving to no-pets home); the home not only contains memories of the past but also reminders of past successes.
5. The home affirms one’s self-worth; one fears (whether rightly or wrongly) that others will consider the person a “retirement failure” upon moving.
6. Maintaining privacy, vs. moving from a single-family home to an apartment, or to Assisted Living, shared housing, or living with family.