When families are suddenly thrust into caring for an ill or injured family member, knowing how to make their homes accessible, barrier-free and safe can be challenging. Here is where a professional CAPS-certified remodeler is needed. It's not for everyone, but as increasingly older Americans choose to Age in Place and remain in their homes, issues related to maintaining mobility, promoting home safety, and creating an environment to meet care needs are becoming increasingly crucial to caregivers and care recipients. Even savvy and experienced families may have trouble figuring out whom to call for a roll-in shower or door widening. According to the AARP, nearly 90% of older adults want to Age in Place and maintain independence however, 85% have done nothing about it. Many retirees want to stay in their own houses for as long as possible. But being able to do so will depend on how easy it is to maneuver your home as you age. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Aging in Place home modifications may prevent up to 50% of home accidents among seniors in older homes, including falls.
The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and Home Innovation Research Labs, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry--home modifications for Aging in Place. David L. Traut, CAPS owner of T-Square Company in SW Austin, Texas as a handicap remodeling contractor, is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills, training, and knowledge necessary to design and remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company offers a complete line of Aging in Place services using their design/build approach.
People interested in Aging in Place services and Aging in Place home improvements are now looking for a level entry into their home along with the maneuverability that a more open floor plan with more extraordinary clear unobstructed floor space presents. They desire flat floors without transitions requiring steps or stairs to move around. Ramps having a correct 1:12 slope or less can be used to get them up to the level floor space at the exterior entries or the garage access. ADA-compliant kitchen cabinets and ADA bathroom cabinets will more than likely come into play to complete any accessible home remodeling project. Aging in Place services and home modifications should include adding non-slip flooring, widening hallways or installing stair lifts, and widening doors. You might consider lowering light switches and thermostats and installing easier-to-use lever door hardware. To provide safety and independence, many considerations for an Aging in Place design should be considered. You should try to provide a clear barrier-free path or accessible route to the most visited areas of your home, as the ADA recommends. The three areas needing improvement for a person wanting to age in place include the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family area in order of importance.
All disability home remodeling or disability bath remodels in Austin must be done considering all the data provided by the client, his or her family, and any caretakers involved. Aging in Place design must be carried out by an Aging in Place specialist who is also a reputable residential remodeling professional. The goal of an accessible design in Austin is to make the areas in the home a safe space for everyone who uses the facilities. T-Square Company's Aging in Place services use Universal Design to accommodate wheelchair users and can make the home environment more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs.
Let's compare the alternative costs associated with aging in place versus when you already own your home. The more institutional alternative of assisted living accompanied by more medical expertise and staff training plus the access to emergency medical facilities is available as opposed to renting an apartment. These are two of the main alternative choices for seniors who decide not to remain in their own homes. According to a national study done in 2019, the average cost for assisted living ranged from $8,000 to $9,500 per month. However, if you decide to Age in Place in a high-quality one-bedroom apartment, the rent will run around $1,700 per month. Living in your own home or with loved ones represents a preference by most seniors and property taxes must be taken in account.
For additional information about the CAPS program, visit nahb.org/CAPS. For more information about T-Square Company, visit www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097 to schedule a home assessment by a CAPS professional.