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NAHB: Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist

Houses for Living. Homes for Life.

American’s are getting older – 88 million people will be over 60 within the next 15 years according to AARP, which also reports that 83% of middle-aged Americans wish to live in their homes indefinitely rather than an assisted living facility. With careful remodeling, homeowners can remain in their homes throughout their maturing years, known as aging-in-place. This means living in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.

To meet the demand of a changing population, the NAHB Remodelors Council created the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation program – the only program that teaches remodelers how to modify homes for the aging-in-place market. CAPS designees are specifically trained how to evaluate a homeowner’s needs and implement a project in a professional, aesthetically pleasing way.  While the majority who take CAPS courses are home builders and remodelers, others such as architects, designers, and healthcare professionals are also trained by CAPS instructors. More than 800 people have completed the education requirements for CAPS since 2002.

Basic alterations can make it easier and more affordable to carry out daily activities, such as bathing, cooking or climbing stairs, and can improve a home’s overall safety. Projects for aging-in-place remodeling vary from the installation of shower grab bars or adjustments of countertop heights, to private elevators and first-floor master suites. Since professional modifications are often barely noticeable to visitors, homeowners can enjoy their home safely and without any institutional feel.

Since it is the only program of its type in the country, CAPS remodelers are uniquely qualified to answer the call of millions who have or will need these types of home modifications. Consumers know that CAPS designees are specially trained to meet their needs, giving remodelers an edge over their competition. The word is spreading all across the country about the expertise of CAPS.

"CNN American Morning" recently highlighted the CAPS program as part of its series "Dream Retirement: Living It". The episode featuring Remodelors Council members ― "Your old new home" ― showcased a home remodeled so aging parents could live with the family. "  CAPS stories involving NAHB members and staff have also appeared in Time Magazine, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and other major metropolitan daily newspapers. On average, more than one story a week about CAPS has appeared across the country.

Benefits of the CAPS Designation
•  Recognition for completing the only national designation program dedicated to improving the knowledge of remodelers who want to serve the fastest growing segment of the residential remodeling market. 
•  Marketing and customer service tools to gain access to the burgeoning aging-in-place market
•  Technical knowledge to solve the remodeling needs of the aging-in-place population
•  Greater understanding of the aging-in-place population
•  Official CAPS certificate and lapel pin identifying your accomplishment

Overview of the CAPS Program
In a three-day program CAPS teaches the strategies and techniques for marketing, designing, and building aesthetically enriching, barrier-free living environments. This program goes beyond universal design; CAPS addresses the communication and technical needs to a specific market. CAPS adds value to that knowledge by providing insights into how to market to and work the demographic group.

Classes are offered through local and state home building associations and at national trade shows including NAHB’s International Builders’ Show and the Remodeler’s Show. Upon completion of CAPS coursework, participants receive graduation materials, information and marketing resources, and inclusion in the professional designation databases on NAHB.org.

Graduates receive a certificate and press release approximately six to eight weeks after submitting the graduate application. The Remodelors Council, a department of NAHB, markets CAPS professionals through NAHB's Web site and publications.
The following are classification categories available to those seeking certification:

Accessibility Consultant                  
Accessibility Solutions Provider       
Accessibility Specialist                   
Assistive Technology Specialist       
Health Care
Home Builder
Home Modifications
Housing Consultant
Interior Designer      
Kitchen Planner
Occupational Therapist
New Home Sales

Learn more about what a National Association of Homebuilders CAPS designation can do for your business

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