The advantage of working with Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)

John will soon be certified in Aging in Place and will receive his certification on March 15, 2012.  JT Construction has been helping seniors for over three years now with making updates to their homes so that they can be safe and live independly for as long as possible. There is nothing more rewarding than helping a senior have hope to live in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

The Advantage of Working with Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) reprinted from Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

The National Association of Home Builders offers a certification designation called CAPS, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. According to the NAHB, the 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.”

To be certified, builders, architects, designers and other professionals have to complete specific educational courses including continuous education credits, pledge to follow a code of ethics and meet other requirements.

Molly McCabe, a CAPS designer who owns A Kitchen That Works on Bainbridge Island, says the name of the certification doesn’t encompass the entire scope of program, and would be better described as universal design specialist.

“The reason being is that as designers and builders, we don’t just serve seniors, we serve injured service personnel, physically and mentally challenged children and young adults as well as young, middle aged and older people who may have physical limitations due to an accident or from a debilitating disease. The specific advantages of working with someone with a CAPS designation is these individuals possess a wide depth and breadth of knowledge with respect to products and design features that can assist homeowners to live safer, more convenient independent lives,” she said.

Professionals who go through the CAPS process are better equipped to understand the complexities of aging in place and navigate consumers through their projects.

“By opening a client’s eyes to aesthetically pleasing aging-in-place amenities, you can help them live longer independently in their home, which is much more cost-effective than living out one’s senior years in an assisted care facility, and helps maintain the individuals dignity,” McCabe said.

When you hire someone with a CAPS designation, choose a contractor with whom you feel you can build a relationship of trust. Learn more about the builder or designer’s specialty — there are several subsegments in the aging-in-place market and not all contractors cater to all those segments.

For more information about aging-in-place including how to find a CAPS professional, go to (follow the housing topics link, then remodeling). Kitsap Home Builders Association also lists designations for its members; go to

Check out the Aging in Place Remodeling checklist to see where you can make improvements to make your home safe and sound.

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