As housing industry professionals celebrated the third annual National Aging In Place Week (Nov. 6-13), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelors™ Council encourages consumers to take proactive steps to modify their homes as they age. With careful remodeling, homeowners can remain in their residences throughout their maturing years.
“Aging-in-place means living in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level,” said Remodelors Council Chairman Don Novak. “As Americans get older, we know the vast majority would rather live in their own home than an assisted living facility.”
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.
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. More than 800 professional remodelers have completed the education requirements for CAPS since 2002. Consumers interested in finding a CAPS trained home remodeler can visit www.nahb.org/remodel.
For more information on aging-in-place or National Aging In Place Week activities, consumers can consult two Web sites developed by National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association and the Aging In Place Council, www.seniorsafehome.com and www.ageinplace.org. The Web sites provide information on design ideas, useful products and how to find them, and professionals who can help homeowners plan and implement home modifications. An information booklet also can be downloaded.