What is Aging in Place and the Certified Aging in Place Specialist

Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations was recently named a Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) by the The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). As the only national certification of its kind, CAPS helps educate builders on the housing needs of seniors. Fazzolari is among only a handful of CAPS contractors in Vancouver, WA and Clark County.

In recognition of this certification we’ve decided to write a series of “aging in place” articles that take a closer look at “aging in place” considerations for communities and inside homes. This article defines aging in place and spotlights the builder and remodeler’s roles in the process. Over the next few weeks, future articles will cover aging in place considerations for communities, as well as for specific areas of the home, including entryways, kitchens, baths, and bedrooms.

What is Aging in Place?

Aging in place means you are prepared to live in your home throughout your life, enjoying family, community, and a familiar environment. It also means living within your financial means, so you can maintain a standard of living while living in your home for many years. Finally, it means you will have an environment that can adapt to your changing health conditions, including the ability to cope with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, or Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s an especially important issue as the large number of Baby Boomers (76 million strong) age:

  • The US Administration on Aging estimates that the number of people over the age of 65 will double from 38.9 million in 2008 to nearly 72.1 million people, or 19% of the population, by 2030.
  • In the Vancouver and Clark County areas, according to the Southwest Washington Agency on Agency and Disabilities, the number of those who are age 60 and up will double by 2025.
  • The number of the very old – 85 years old and over, is expected to grow from 4.2 million in 2000 to more than 6.6 million in 2020 in this area.
  • Life expectancy in the US is over 78 years and climbing.

Think about these figures for a moment. They mean providers of senior services, such as caregivers, transportation, and housing, will experience twice as much demand in the years to come. By aging in place, Baby Boomers, who are always eager to get what they want, will look for communities and activities that are geared towards their lives and will not put as much demand on social services, which can mean less of a tax burden.

Where the Certified Aging In Place Specialist Comes In

One of the first things you should consider if you are thinking about building or remodeling a home in which you plan to live out the remainder of your life is finding a CAPS remodeler and builder who can help you make the appropriate modifications to your home. The NAHB Remodelers Council, along with the AARP, NAHB Research Center, and NAHB Seniors Housing Council, developed the CAPS program to provide comprehensive, practical, market-specific information about working with older and maturing adults to remodel their homes for aging in place.

In order to lead more comfortable, secure, and enjoyable “golden years” you will need to consider a number of different factors. It begins with choosing a community that is right for aging in place. Then you need to look at various areas of your home, including entryways, the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, and decide what features you might need to help you as you age.

We go into depth exploring each of these areas in other stories, but for the home, this could mean adding a ramp or lift to make it easier to enter the home, lowering counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, or making doorways and hallways wider for wheelchair accessibility.

A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist such as Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations understands the needs you have and is trained to help you sort through these decisions and make it easier for you to choose the ones that are right for you. If you are considering options for aging in place in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR areas then call Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations at 360-571-7027 or fill out our form for a free consultation on aging in place in your home.