What is Design for Independent Living?

As we are embarking on an era in which the baby boomers are starting to retire, a variety of products and services are popping up catering to the 50-and-over crowd. And the nationally acclaimed CAPS program is no exception.

The acronym CAPS stands for Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. It is a construction credential that has builders, architects, remodelers, designers and even occupational therapists buzzing. Far beyond using universal design ideas, aging-in-place (a.k.a independent living) principles are sweeping changes designed to custom-fit your home to you and your family for now and down the road. CAPS design takes your current and future circumstances into consideration. CAPS design principles focus on elegant, aesthetically enriching and barrier-free environments. These are changes that can actually increase the value of your home, according to some realtors.

What is aging-in-place exactly? If you are like the majority of Americans you want to continue living at home in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years. Aging-in-place means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. It addresses the need to remodel existing homes and design new homes, so that people can age in place and not have to move to assisted-living facilities. Since the vast majority of homes we live in are not well designed for this, a movement in residential construction has sprung up to meet this new consumer demand.

In addition to the economics that generally favor remodeling vs. moving into an assisted–living facility, there is also the psychological impact of being uprooted from your community, familiar rituals, independence and privacy.

Too early to think this applies to you? Consider how many folks struggle with bouts of arthritis at an early age. If you fell and broke a leg, how easy would it be to get up and downstairs in your house? Perhaps you have an aging parent or relative who is facing these challenges who may need to move in with you.

Construction and design professionals are taking advantage of the CAPS training across the nation. This designation is taught through the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP. Glickman Design Build has four CAPS on staff and has been remodeling homes to meet this demand for many years.

Check this link for more information on how to get certified http://www.nahb.org/en/learn/designations/certified-aging-in-place-specialist.aspx