Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)
The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation program teaches the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to competing in the fastest growing segment of the residential remodeling industry: home modifications for the aging-in-place. The NAHB RemodelorsTM Council, in collaboration with the AARP, NAHB Research Center, and NAHB Seniors Housing Council, developed this program to provide comprehensive, practical, market-specific information about working with older and maturing adults to remodel their homes for aging-in-place.
What is aging-in-place?
In plain English, aging-in-place means remaining in one's home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one's maturing years, and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives. It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a "home" for a lifetime.
Aging in Place: Tips for Your Home
According to AARP, 83 percent of people 45 and older are homeowners. A survey conducted by the association in 2003 found that three quarters of those people expect to remain exactly where they are for the rest of their lives. Many forward-thinking seniors are remodeling their homes to accommodate decreased mobility, dexterity, strength and stamina, along with reduced sensory acuity. If you'd like to jump on that bandwagon without triggering your trick knee, follow these easy tips:
- Focus your activities of daily living to the ground floor of your home.
- Make sure your home has at least one point of entrance with no stairs.
- Widen doorways to at least 36 inches, which will fit a wheelchair.
- Use levered door handles. For someone with arthritis, pressing down is easier than turning a knob.
- Place electrical outlets 18 inches high, instead of 12; move light switches to 42 inches from the floor instead of 48.
- Install strobe light or vibrator-assisted burglar and smoke alarms.
- Move your peep hole to eye-level. Incorporate an emergency response system.
- Use lever faucets with anti-scald valves and temperature-controlled tub and shower fixtures.
- Place grab bars in the bathroom and wherever else you may need them.
If you would like more information about how to remodel your home and make it a safer place give DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen a call at 719-636-2444. DreamMaker also offers a class entitled, "Making Your House a Home for a Lifetime". For upcoming class dates give them a call at 719-636-2444.
Preventing Falls Among Seniors
Falls are not just the result of getting older. Many falls can be prevented. Falls are usually caused by a number of things. By changing some of these things, you can lower your chances of falling.
You can reduce your chances of falling by doing these things:
1. Begin a regular exercise program.
Exercise is one of the most important ways to reduce your chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are the most helpful.
Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling.
Ask your doctor or health care worker about the best type of exercise program for you.
2. Make your home safer.
About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer:
Remove things you can trip over (such as papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk. Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping. Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool. Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower. Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Lamp shades or frosted bulbs can reduce glare. Have handrails and lights put in on all staircases. Wear shoes that give good support and have thin non-slip soles. Avoid wearing slippers and athletic shoes with deep treads.
3. Have your health care provider review your medicines.
Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take (including ones that don't need prescriptions such as cold medicines). As you get older, the way some medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you drowsy or light-headed which can lead to a fall.
4. Have your vision checked.
Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor. You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.