The initials after our name
As with any designation or certification program, we are interested in obtaining the requisite set of initials that we can display after our name in our signature, profile, or resume to show the world that we have an extra measure of professional knowledge or accomplishment. Some of those initials are going to have more significance and traction than others – some with other professionals, some with the marketplace, and some with both, although those that are easily and readily recognizable by both the general public and fellow professionals are not as numerous.
Some professional achievements or designations – AIA, CPA, MD, JD, DDS, OT, or PT for instance – are going to be well-known across a wide spectrum of individuals even if they don’t have frequent contact with these professionals. Others are well-known to those using their services – ASID or CKBD, for instance.
While there are many designations that can be pursued and obtained, from a variety of sources, including academic institutions, that involve aging in place services or working directly with the elderly or those with disabilities in their home environment, the CAPS designation (Certified Aging In Place Specialist) seems to rise to the top.
CAPS is the oldest program
CAPS is moving into its third decade, having been created near the turning of the twenty-first century. While there are professional organizations and companies that have been involved with home modifications and meeting the needs of individuals to remain safely in their homes on a case-by-case basis, no other aging in place, home safety, home evaluation, or home modification program can make this claim of longevity.
There are many other programs of study and certification that a person can pursue that will provide additional understanding of the marketplace and aging in place issues, including possible home modifications, but the CAPS program remains the standard in the industry.
It has time to gel and attain recognition among industry professionals and consumers. It’s not a household name in every case, but more people are learning that it exists and requesting to work with people who have this set of credentials.
As is true with many subjects, if our paths don’t cross with something we may be unaware of it. However, there are so many professionals whose paths do cross with the CAPS program of the designation itself.
Obviously, contractors of all sorts – general contractors, remodelers, renovators, restorers, handymen, window and door installers, framers, roofers, cement finishers, lighting contractors, cabinet installers and fabricators, flooring contractors, and more – are at the forefront of connecting with the client to make aging in place renovations in their homes. If they are currently CAPS trained, there are prime candidates to become so.
Add to this the number of occupational therapists, physical therapists, case managers, home health professionals, and others with a health care orientation that can assess a person’s needs in their home and design renovations or improvements to assist their well-being and use of their homes.
Then, there are kitchen and bath designers, interior designers, public adjusters, eldercare advisors, nonprofit organizations across a wide range of services, insurance firms, governmental entities that provide or monitor senior living spaces or programs, and so many other professionals.
Professionally, in addition to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and AARP, the AOTA (America Occupational Therapy Association), APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) AIBD (American Institute of Building Design), AIA (American Institute of Architects), NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) and ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) recognize the importance of the CAPS program and afford their members continuing education credits for taking the courses.
Where it counts
Having various sets of initials after our names show that we have made a commitment to ourselves, the people we serve, our industry, and the marketplace to undertake and complete various programs of educations of accreditation.
That said, having the CAPS initials after our name signifies a professional commitment to learning about providing for the needs of people as they remain in their homes and want to have a safe and comfortable living environment into the future. This is apparent to other professionals in the marketplace that we might encounter, and it is increasingly important to consumers. Often, consumers are seeking and requesting that work be done for them by CAPS-trained individuals. Additionally, many grant programs are stipulating that their community awards be carried out by CAPS professionals.
Some companies are insisting that all of their employees be CAPS trained so that they can have a very strong presence in the marketplace and connect that much better with their clientele.
If you aren’t as yet CAPS trained, and the case I just made for having the credentials sounds appealing to you, or if you took the CAPS program but have not done much with your training, reach out to us to find out how you can learn more about this very significant market of opportunity – keeping people of any age or ability in their homes longterm and what needs to happen to facilitate this.
Classes are available every week for the balance of the year. Visit https://www.stevehoffacker.com/caps-classes/ to learn more and see available dates for the classes.