Bill Bell of Gotcha Covered! is the first Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) in the state of Delaware. CAPS is administered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The idea behind Aging-in-Place is to make homes universally accessible by addressing the individual needs of an elderly person. By addressing these needs the individual is able to continue living in their home, but now with more comfort and ease.
If you’re like the majority of Americans you are in your maturing years. In 2000, the AARP commissioned a study “Fixing to Stay” and found that older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to Age-in-Place, which means living in your home safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age or ability level.
To Age-in-Place you will probably need to modify your house as you mature to increase access and maneuverability. These modifications include the installation of bath and shower grab bars, adjustment of countertop heights, the creation of multifunctional first floor master suites, and the installation of private elevators.
A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) has been trained in:
Identifying the unique needs of the older adult population
Aging-in-Place home modifications
Common remodeling projects
Solutions to common barriers
The Remodelers Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with the NAHB Research Center, NAHB Seniors Housing Council, and the AARP developed this program to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these modifications. While Most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care consultants.
What is Universal Design? Universal Design is a term that comes from architecture and means: “the design of products and environments to be useable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without need for adaptation or specialized design.”
The intent of the Universal Design concept is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by more people at little or no extra cost. The Universal Design concept targets ALL people, of ALL ages, sizes, and abilities.
The key to access for everyone is Universal Design. A home or a workplace utilizing Universal Design may include ramps, levered doors, remote-operated electric switches, roll-in showers, and a myriad of products and design features that allow easy access and use for people with disabilities