There are many worthwhile, productive occupations in the world today where people get a chance to serve others in a meaningful way and also take a great deal of satisfaction away from the experience each time. Not sure if there is anyone recruiting at job fairs or publishing announcements for an aging in place specialist because this definitely is not an entry-level position and not one done by the inexperienced. It takes years of life experiences and professional know-how to be able to interpret living in the form that is appropriate for offering aging in place suggestions, recommendations, and solutions for people.
Nevertheless, aging in place specialists are going to be more in demand as we go forward. We may have an issue filling all of the demand so it is good that we already have begun. As for others wanting to join us, there’s plenty of opportunities or that to happen.
So, how does one become an aging in place specialist – or better still, a certified aging in place specialist? We know that to become certified is to complete the three-day curriculum for the CAPS program, but to the heart of the matter, what is an aging in place specialist?
For openers, a person may not start out early in life to be an aging in place specialist, without the mentoring and guidance of someone already in the field, although this is easier to do now than it was a decade or two earlier. There is far more demand today – fueled by the Boomer population – and there is much more discussion of the topic. There is more to know and even more still to learn.
A person may not find aging in place specialists as an occupation category on any type of profile or application, but that should not be taken as any type of sign that we aren’t appreciated. Instead, we likely have other titles that people are more accustomed to hearing and using. They call us home builders, general contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, remodelers, renovators, remediators, restoration specialists, lighting contractors, handymen, painters, pool contractors, low voltage electricians, mobility specialists, assistive technology specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, housing coordinators, housing specialist, rehab specialists, and several other names that people are accustomed to using.
Within our ranks are many medical and related specialties such as gerontologists, geriatricians, audiologists, ophthalmologists, orthopedists, prosthetists, rheumatologists, chiropractors, pharmacists, home health, hospice, music therapy, brain injury specialists, case managers, discharge planners, neurologists, endocrinologists, and psychologists.
There are many other professions that the public would recognize that also are part of the aging in place specialist family. These include architects, interiors designers, kitchen and bath designers, kitchen and bath showrooms, cabinet designers, flooring experts, HVAC technicians, cement finishers, landscape architects, landscapers, window and door installers, window and door manufacturers and showrooms, countertop fabricators, insurance agents, public adjusters, elder-law attorneys, trust attorneys, financial planners, home stagers, move specialists, and real estate agents.
Then there are durable medical equipment companies, moving companies, paramedics, spa dealers, sauna dealers, emergency power specialists (backup generators), lenders, home inspectors, transportation specialists, senior concierges, locksmiths, elder-abuse agencies, aging agencies, support groups, churches, lift and elevator installers, ramp retailers and installers, and others.
There’s a good chance that someone that we might recognize from another hat that they usually wear is actually – or easily could be as well – an aging in place specialist. This may be one of the best ways to break into the field. Start as another occupation and specialize in the aging in place aspect of that business. The point is that there are dozens of ways to become interested in and begin serving as an aging in place specialist simply by doing the work that we have been educated or trained to do. There are so many applications of construction, building materials, medical, design, financial, non-profit and governmental agency, and other fields getting involved and being leaders in providing aging in place assessment, design, and renovation solution services.
Anyone with a background in providing housing services of any kind, as well as the exterior and interior treatments, products, services, or systems that go along with making homes livable and functional, may find the transition to an aging in place specialist easy and rewarding. Anyone just starting out, fresh from completing school or from another position, may find a great future by finding someone to employ and mentor them in learning about the services and products they provide.
Aging in place is way past the trending or fad stage. It’s here to stay for several reasons, the most important of which is that people want to continue living in their homes long-term and generally have the ability to do so – along with a little strategic help from us to make that happen.