The “Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS)” designation is a joint program of the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and AARP, begun in 2000, which anyone can obtain after completing all three of the required courses and submitting an application. You do not need to be a member of either organization to complete the program or hold any other designations, education, or type of experience. Contractors as well as non-contractors, and even consumers, are welcome to complete their designation. Here are some other helpful questions and answers about the CAPS program.
As a remodeler or general contractor, a trades sub-contractor (carpenter, plumber, electrician, roofer, flooring or lighting contractor, low-voltage electrical systems, home automation, drywall contractor, cement finisher, cabinet or countertop fabricator, tile setter, painter, window or door installer, or so many others), occupational or physical therapist (or assistant), case manager, interior designer, kitchen and bath designer, architect (or building designer or structural engineer), real estate sales professional (or stager, property manager, or real estate developer), handyman, medical professional, care manager, durable medical equipment specialist, mobility equipment specialist, assistive technology professional, paramedic, home health provider, attorney, insurance agent, non-profit housing agency, center for independent living, or so many other professions, caregivers, and interested persons working with people to help them remain in their homes effectively and to keep their living environment safe and comfortable, this training is for you!
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, has conducted several hundred of the three-day CAPS class events, averaging about 48 sessions per year, more than are available anywhere else. In recognition of this effort, Steve was named the NAHB “CAPS Educator of the Year” in 2015 and the “NAHB Educator of the Year” for 2020. Steve became a Master Instructor with NAHB for the CAPS and Universal Design classes when it was first offered in 2017.
Regardless of the type, size, or age of a home or apartment that people currently have, they want to remain living in their present homes for as long as they can – indefinitely if you were to ask them. Some people may eventually move into another home, but their current home or apartment (owned or rented) needs to be treated as if this is the home for the remainder of their lives. Many people already have found their long-term home (because they really like it, they love the location, or they can’t afford to replace it) and will remain living in that home for the duration.
This trend of remaining in place and not moving has been developing for several years and shows no signs of abating. Actually, it’s growing in popularity and demand. This is where you, as a solutions-oriented professional, come in. If you are connected to residential remodeling, renovations, home modifications, or the health and safety of people inside their homes, then you need to be part of implementing the aging in place, universal design, and visitable solutions that people are seeking.
People are craving the ability to stay in familiar surroundings as they age rather than pulling up roots and moving into a retirement center or nursing home. In addition to the stress and emotion of packing up and moving, there is the economic impact of affording the move from their present home. Sometimes people can remain living in their present homes by making very few physical changes to them. Other times, more major renovations are called for – especially when there are physical or health concerns that need to be accommodated. Nevertheless, these are less costly than moving into a retirement home, and it helps tremendously with the mental and emotional health of the people you are serving.
The chief objective in helping people remain living where they are is safety. This comes in many forms – from eliminating tripping hazards, preventing falls in general, appealing to vision issues, creating open passageways, having wide accessible doorways, and locating within easy reach and grasp such items as shelves, door pulls, appliances, faucets, light switches, and other functional elements of a home.
The CAPS training prepares you to be instrumental in helping people remain independent in their home living environment as you effectively assess what needs to be done in their homes to help them cope with aging issues and concerns and to offer practical solutions for addressing and achieving those results.
To obtain your CAPS designation, you must complete all three (3) classes – CAPS I, CAPS II, and CAPS III. There aren’t any exemptions or exclusions or credit given for professional or life experiences. Everyone must take all three classes regardless of previous experience or coursework. As a convenience to you, Steve offers all three classes online in a synchronous format on consecutive days so you can complete your designation in the briefest amount of time with no travel or other details to consider.
The classes are $335 each (with a discount for registering for all three at one time, making it $900 total or $300 per class) for anyone who is not a member of NAHB and $300 each for NAHB members (with a discount for taking all three at one time of $865 total). In addition, there is an application fee (“graduation”) of $110 or $218 for non-members (depending on the type of certificate desired – a pdf downloadable one or pre-framed certificate with lapel pin) and $75 or $145, respectively, for members. The annual certification renewal is $95 for non-members and $65 for members, upon invoice from NAHB. There is an annual 4-hour CEU requirement that is self-reporting, but the renewal fee includes 4 free online programs to satisfy the requirement.
Since April 2020, all CAPS courses have been taught by Master CAPS Instructor Steve Hoffacker in an online, distant-learning, modified Zoom format where the classes are interactive in real-time and even better than taking them in-person. It is not anticipated that a return to in-person classes will be necessary, and Steve is committed to making this a great learning experience for you. Enjoy “a classroom experience from the comfort of your home.”
It is quite unlikely that an online class ever will be canceled due to low enrollment, but we do reserve the right to withdraw or reschedule a class and make arrangements for you to move to another date convenient for you.