The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as, “The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Aging in place is a hot topic in this day and age as more and more adults are choosing to spend their golden years in their home over moving into a nursing home or assisted living community. While it’s often easy to upgrade your home to accommodate your ever-evolving needs, others find it beneficial to hire an aging in place specialist.
Aging in place specialists typically analyze your unique situation and offer suggestions to improve your home’s efficacy and livability, something that may be necessary if your needs have evolved in a way you did not necessarily expect. These experts are a goldmine of information, but there are just a few things you will want to take into consideration:
Are you working with a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist?
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) developed the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist designation, otherwise known as CAPS. This designation is earned after extensive education in the unique needs of our older population, and it is a designation often sought by architects and remodeling experts. Their extensive knowledge of optimizing space combined with this impressive education in accessibility solutions makes the CAPS designation something you will want your aging-in-place specialist to have. Be sure to ask about this when you are searching for a specialist.
Do you have an occupational therapist?
An occupational therapist, or OT, is someone that will understand your needs inside and out. They’re a wealth of information, particularly if they have additional training as in the case of the Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications. Your OT may even have a CAPS designation! If they do not have this designation, it’s often a good idea to introduce your OT to your aging-in-place specialist to allow both parties to discuss your safety needs.
Can you afford home modifications right now?
Not prepared to modify your home right this second? Don’t stress, now is the perfect time to meet with an expert to discuss—and budget for—a long term plan. While many companies, like Leaf Home Safety Solutions, offer financing and can help you fit upgrades into your budget, it’s often easiest to upgrade your home in phases. The first phase may be as simple as rearranging furniture to remove tripping or falling hazards, and the second phase may be as painless as a installing a stair lift.
How can I make my home more maintenance-free right now?
There are many products available throughout the nation that can help you make your home more low-maintenance, something you’ll doubtlessly appreciate as you navigate your golden years. Even if you are not ready to meet with an aging in place specialist, you can still make your home safer with upgrades like grab bars, anti-microbial bathroom appliances to lessen your cleaning load, and LeafFilter Gutter Protection to keep you off the ladder and to protect your home from damages associated with clogged gutters.
It can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you’re making long-term plans, but there are plenty of people along the way that can offer help. A partnership with a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist can be extremely beneficial when you are upgrading your home or planning for the long-term, and experts like our team at Leaf Home Safety Solutions can help make the transition back to independent living seamless.