Thursday, October 14, 2010

Housing Choices for N J Seniors - Remodeling Specialists

There's a new home building specialty now available to builders, the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).  Those receiving this education are trained to help homeowners adapt their homes for easier accessibility and improved functionality.  Aging in place has been a popular theory for several years, but the reality has not caught up with the demand.  Remodelers trained in this type of home design will bring positive change to the options available for New Jersey seniors, as they have learned about aging-in-place home design as well as partnering with other professionals to create a more comfortable home.

Actually, Oct 11-15 has been Aging-in-Place week, organized by NAHB (National Assn of Home Builders).  According to AARP, most seniors prefer to stay in their home rather than move due to health and independence concerns, and the CAPS courses were developed in partnership with AARP.  There are now more than 3,500 certified CAPS nationwide to choose from when considering home modifications. Remodelers, designers, occupational therapists, and other professions working with seniors and people with disabilities have become CAPS certified to assist with aging-in-place plans.

Aging-in-place solutions are tailored for each individual, but home remodels frequently include installing grab bars to minimize falling, adding comfort-height toilets, building no-step showers, and widening doorways to allow for mobility-assistance equipment such as wheelchairs.  Universal design features can be easily incorporated into aging-in-place changes.  Creating no-step access from a patio to a home’s interior, constructing raised-bed planters for easier gardening, changing the height of door knobs and electrical outlets, all can combine fashion with accessibility.

Visit the NAHB page for Aging in Place, for more information, and contact me to help you find a local Mercer County builder who has received the CAPS certification, if you need this type of home modification.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor

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