Staying power: CAPS builders help make key aging decision

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A kitchen remodel with improvements like more counter space, adjusted appliance heights, and rollout and sliding shelves (pictured) makes this key space in the home more comfortable, accessible and convenient. | SUPPLIED PHOTO

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There are now more than 60 million Americans aged 55 and older, and the U.S. Census Bureau says that number will reach 100 million once the youngest of the Baby Boomers reaches full retirement age.

An equally astounding statistic is that 45 percent of all homeowners will be over age 55 by the year 2020.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, more than 80 percent of adults now intend to “Age in Place,” a term that refers to staying in your home in your later years.

Factors that impact this decision include your current physical condition, your anticipated future needs, and can your home be adapted to meet your needs as you age. When possible, aging adults are now choosing to modify their homes instead of selling.

There are several key points to consider.

Plan ahead. There will be a time that you or a loved ones’ mobility will be become limited, which can occur suddenly. When remodeling your home, always think about your current and future needs, sometimes referred to as “age-proofing” your home.

Consult an expert. Aging-in-Place home improvements should not look or feel “institutional” in any form or fashion, and finding the right remodeler can be difficult. Consult with a reputable CAPS Builder, one which has been certified as an Aging in Place Specialist and trained in Universal Design elements by the National Association of Home Builders. Adding Universal Design improvements refers to creating environments that are barrier-free, adaptive, desirable and value-enhancing.

“Adding Universal Design features to a home increases its functionality and livability. Widening hallways, adding lighting, and removing sunken rooms will add to a home’s appeal”, said Michael Avis, an AIP (Age in Place) Custom Builder, and owner of Avis Homes, which has been servicing homeowners since 1960. AIP Custom Builders specializes in creating aesthetically pleasing Aging-in-Place home improvements.

Accessible is desirable. By fusing innovative design techniques with the highest craftsmanship, customized Aging-in-Place renovations will incorporate your signature tastes and make your home more appealing to all.

For example, revamp your bathroom to make it more open or to add a no-threshold, spa-like shower. Kitchen renovations might include increasing counter space, adjusting appliance heights, and installing rollout and sliding shelves.

Research your options. If you live in a multi-story home, can a master bedroom be added on the first floor, or can the home be retrofitted with an elevator? Adding a first-floor master bedroom, an elevator or even a convenient dumbwaiter is not as expensive as one might think, and studies show that they enhance home resale value.

The decision to age in place has many advantages, provided your home is designed or renovated to accommodate your changing needs as you age. Such improvements, Avis said, give you an attractive and more functional home for your later years, while increasing the value of your investment.

Assisted living facilities can cost $40,000 per year and up. Investing in Aging-in-Place home improvements makes financial sense, and more importantly allows you to stay in the home you love.

Have a question? For more information or a consultation on home remodeling and Aging-in-Place home improvements, visit the Website at, email to, or call (847) 830-0570.