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Social Systems


Encourage Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS)

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Tool Information


  1. Health
  2. Housing
  3. Communities
  4. Services


A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is someone who understands the aging-in-place home remodeling market and the technology, tools and resources that are available for seniors to age in place. Individuals with this designation are trained in the needs of the aging population, common remodeling projects and expenditures, codes and standards, product ideas and resources. CAPS professionals are trained by the National Association of Home Builders. While many people who undergo the training are members of the building profession, other interested professionals, such as occupational therapists and other health care professionals as well as those involved in planning and land use are encouraged to seek CAPS certification.  


The Centers for Disease Control defines the concept of aging-in-place as living in one’s own home safely, comfortably and independently irrespective of age, ability level or income. Currently around 23 million Americans are caring for elderly parents and with the baby boomer generation entering retirement years, this figure is growing. In the U.S. between 2015 and 2035, the number of people over 65 is anticipated to double. The Flint Hills region’s population is an aging one that is following the national trend, so aging-in-place is a very important issue for Flint Hills communities to consider especially given the public transportation challenges of rural areas of the Flint Hills. (Also see SS2.1 Provide Coordinated Health and Social Services)

The Housing Demand Analysis recently accomplished by the Flint Hills Regional Council shows that the Flint Hills Region is projected to grow at .62% per year for the next 10 years. Rents and values of homes increased at nearly twice the national rate between 2000 and 2010, and the analysis showed that 42.6% of renters and 19.7% homeowners are cost-overburdened. The region is projected to need 4,950 new single family homes and 3,050 new multifamily units in the next ten years. Considering an increasing focus on new construction and rehabilitation of existing housing stock, both affordability and aging-in-place are significant factors in strengthening Flint Hills communities. 

Additional Information

National Association of Home Builders program


Central Plains Area Agency on Aging


Implementation Strategy

Champions and Partners

  • Municipal and County Planning Agencies
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • Local design and building professionals


Short (1-3 years)



Cost Details

Local champions in the municipal and county planning agencies could lead the way in advocating and encouraging the local construction industry members to become CAPS certified. A coalition of local governments could host the training needed for this certification in convenient locations throughout the region. Costs would be handled by participants in the program.

For each participant seeking certification the three courses required for certification cost a total of $990 (max for non-members of NAHB), plus $110 graduation fee, and an annual renewal fee of $83. 

Funding Sources

Costs would be paid out of pocket by professionals or their organizations seeking certification. Municipalities or counties, or their chambers of commerce could choose to set aside a fund to waive these costs as an added incentive to their local building industry members, health care professions, and design and planning professionals.

Case Study

Liveable Community Indicators for Sustainable Aging in Place


The Stanford Center on Longevity and MetLife Mature Market Institute developed a list of indicators that can be measured easily to examine the specific needs of their aging population.  The study helps to identify characteristics of a livable community and how they impact aging in place.  

Front page of October 2011 Washington Post New American Neighborhood story, re-posted in Louis Tenenbaum.com blog



The study elucidates the complex factors of assessing how livable a community is for its aging population. Housing design is one factor in this equation and establishing an agreed upon system of criteria for industry professionals to use is one part of creating an integrated approach to building and enhancing communities that support quality of life in all ages.