Aging In Place, Safe Solutions for Senior Homeowners

For many senior homeowners, finding a home improvement contractor they can trust can be challenging.

America’s senior population is growing and many are living longer and more active lives. As a result, there is an increasing demand for reliable resources to help seniors connect with trustworthy home service professionals. Whether it is a small job such as installing stability bars in the bathroom or more extensive modifications, senior homeowners need a resource to locate contractors they can trust and who understand their specific needs.

To help meet the increasing needs of our senior population, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the American Association of Retired People (AARP) developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) program. The program provides training for contractors to address the needs of home safety and independence for seniors. It teaches contractors Universal Design skills to make functional modifications that blend seamlessly with your current home design and décor.

Universal Design evolved from Accessible Design, which was first introduced to make public buildings and facilities more accessible for people with disabilities. Universal Design has broadened the approach by helping make personal residences more functional and user-friendly for everyone. Certified Aging in Place Specialists will work with you to assess both your current and potential future needs and help you make these important and life-enhancing modifications.

Safety is the primary reason for making home modifications for seniors. Planning ahead and making the appropriate improvements now can help prevent accidents in the future and ensure a more secure and accessible home.

Stability bars in the bathroom; improved lighting in hallways, work areas, and outdoors; and continuous handrails on each side of stairways are simple and relatively inexpensive updates. Specific needs can be met through more extensive modifications to the kitchen, bathroom, or other living spaces. Thoughtful planning and consideration can result in attractive modifications and increase resale value by appealing to a broader market.

It is never too soon to make improvements to increase your home’s safety and functionality. If you are planning a home remodel or even minor improvements, consider incorporating some well thought out modifications to help make your home safer and more functional. Some relatively minor adjustments can make a big difference for a lot of people. This may include friends or family members with disabilities, children, or even senior relatives that visit and may eventually move into the household. Many simple features will make your home more ‘visitable’ and the transition of merging households an easier process.

An alternative to modifying your existing home is to sell and purchase a home that is already more suitable for your needs. However, it is often less expensive to modify your existing home and save on real estate commissions, closing costs, moving costs, and decorating. Depending on your particular situation, a home equity loan or reverse mortgage may be an option to finance a more extensive remodel. Some long-term care or private insurance policies cover special equipment such as ramps and stability bars.

Consulting with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist is the first step in helping you determine your specific needs and the many options and related benefits available to you. We are pleased to be able to recommend professional contractors that are not only CAPS certified, but also part of our network of dependable, pre-screened home improvement professionals.

If you or a loved one are interested in consulting with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, we can help you make that connection. We will be available for you throughout the entire process from the initial consultation appointment throughout completion of your project and beyond. To get started, simply call Cari at 425-775-9085 or submit a work request.

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