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How Some Are Helping Older Homeowners Stay in Their Homes

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RISMedia, June 17, 2011—Remodelers trained as Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) can help homeowners adapt their home for easier accessibility and improved functionality, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

According to AARP, most seniors prefer to stay in their home rather than move due to health and independence concerns. Remodeling for aging-in-place can enhance a home’s function as an individual ages or lives with a disability. CAPS remodelers have received education about aging-in-place home design and partnering with customers to create a more comfortable home.

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.

“Remodelers can make a home more accessible while also improving its beauty,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Donna Shirey, CGR, CAPS, CGP, and a remodeler from Issaquah, Washington. “In fact, NAHB Remodelers recently presented Homes for Life awards to two CAPS designers for beautiful aging-in-place remodels that incorporated universal design features.”

The 2010 Homes for Life award winners (www.nahb.org/homesforlife2010) seamlessly integrated universal design features, such as creating no-step access from a patio to a home’s interior and constructing raised-bed planters for easier gardening. Fashion is combined with function in bronze grab bars, improved lighting, stylish lever handles, and pull-out shelves.

The CAPS courses were developed in partnership with AARP. Homeowners have more than 3,500 certified CAPS nationwide to choose from when planning their remodel. 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.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org.

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