Richard Acree is a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS). CAPS is a residential accessibility services credential certified by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that offers principles to improve safety and accessibility in your home, regardless of your age or physical condition. Click here to learn more about CAPS.
What is Age-in-Place?
Certainly as people age their maneuverability can often be reduced. But even before the aging process slows us down, people can have accidents or become ill in such a way that their ability to maneuver (accessibility) in their own home is limited. Aging in Place (AIP) design principles focus on barrier-free accessibility for residential properties (homes, apartments, condos and town houses) similar to how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design focuses on barrier-free accessibility for commercial buildings. CAPS design takes your current and future circumstances into consideration to improve your quality of life while staying in your home so you can “age in place”, versus moving to assisted living. CAPS employs concepts of Universal Design with the principles of the ADA Standards and Federal Housing Act (FHA) to make your home a safer place regardless of the cause of limited mobility. That’s why residential accessibility services are sometimes referred to as aging-in-place services, or safety inspections.
The role of Richard at ADAIN is that of an inspector, planner, and project monitor. Richard is not a contractor, installer/vendor, architect or licensed engineer. Richard works with clients to determine their goals for aging in place and create a plan to reach their goals. Within that plan will be CAPS and AIP services. CAPS and AIP services include: building inspection; planning the project; researching and helping you select specialized assistive products and installations; identifying and selecting contractors, explaining best practices for design and installation of key components in AIP home design; coordinating the budget; prioritizing comprehensive solutions based on your needs, budget and urgency; working with contractors to avoid common mistakes for design and installation of AIP solutions; and monitoring the project installation to ensure your needs and goals are met. For a sample inspection report please see Sample CAPS Report.
Residential Accessibility Services
Residential Accessibility Services at ADAIN includes CAPS services, property management, and real estate transactions including getting your house ready for sale or purchasing a new home. Richard Acree offers these services as a planner, not an installer or contractor.
As a planner and project monitor for Residential Accessibility Services, Richard can help people who want to make their homes a home for a lifetime, regardless of their age, income or abilities. CAPS modifications can help people of all ages and ability levels to live comfortably and safely in a home. The universally-designed home accommodates all family members at all stages of life, from infants to grandparents, all of whom benefit from homes that impose fewer restrictions on daily activities and maximize independence and safety.
But there is more. Some people are not able to manage their property either because of physical limitations or they are just too busy. Richard can manage the property for you using his training, experience, and skills in building inspections and accessibility. Given the amount of money involved in home ownership, having an expert like Richard manage your property for you can be a great investment!
One more! Getting your home ready for sale? Richard can help you with that. A realtor will tell you that when it is time to sell your home, the key things to do are de-clutter, de-personalize, then clean and paint, clean and paint. This can be a huge job! Again if you are not able to manage this important job, or just too busy, Richard can do it for you. Richard can help you by doing a property assessment to identify any significant issues to repair, hire people to help with packing, moving and storing items while the property is for sale, then hire people to do the cleaning and painting.
Sound complicated? It can be, depending on your circumstances. That is why it is important to hire a consultant/planner who is trained professionally in accessibility services, who is knowledgeable in the ADA Standards, who has significant experience in home inspections, who has an education in engineering or architecture and business/economics, who can work with contractors and product vendors to pull the project together, and who will advocate for your needs and monitor the project through to completion. Each client has different needs and different budgets. Meeting those needs within your budget so you can live safety and comfortably in your home is the mission for Richard Acree. Richard has the aging-in-place certification (CAPS), 12 years experience as a home and commercial building inspector and ADA inspector, the education in engineering and business, and the experience of working with contractors and vendors to manage projects effectively.
If you are like the majority of Americans you want to continue living at home in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years. Aging-in-place means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability. It addresses the need to remodel existing homes and design new homes, so that people can age in place and not have to move to assisted-living facilities as they age. Richard will work with you as a consultant/planner to help identify areas in your home that could be opportunities to improve safety and accessibility. Then, the next step is to identify contractors and products that will help you reach your goal of independence.
How does it work? How much does it cost?
It starts with a phone call or text to Richard at 615-752-0060. We schedule a time to meet at your location to discuss your needs and get to know each other. This meeting usually takes less than an hour and only a small fee is requested to cover the cost of transportation to the home. From this meeting we make a recommendation for how to proceed. The next steps usually includes an accessibility assessment (inspection), to identify issues with safety and accessibility in the home, or meeting with contractors or vendors to discuss options to reach your goals. For a sample report please see Sample CAPS Report. The fee for this assessment depends on the size and age of the home, the scope of the assessment, and the location of the home. Meetings and other activities outside of the inspection are charged at an hourly rate. Next a plan is prepared working with the client and their health care provider, if applicable. Once the plan is in place, Richard is then available to serve as a project monitor until the home modification to completion.
The economics of aging-in-place modifications are compelling. Moving to a typical assisted-living facility can cost up to $60,000 annually. The cost to widen a residential home bathroom door, put in safety bars, and add a roll-in shower would typically cost about $8,000 to $10,000. But doing so is a one-time expense, not a yearly drain on your finances. Richard will work with you to identify how you can make your home safer and stay within your budget.
If desired, a preliminary virtual inspection can be completed using plans and specifications for the home. This virtual inspection will not be as detailed as an onsite inspection, but it will identify the major issues in the home that could be barriers to mobility. In this endeavor, the client will be asked to send a copy of the plans and specifications to Richard to complete the virtual inspection. Doing a virtual inspection can reduce the overall cost because transportation expenses will not be incurred.
In addition to the economics, consider the psychological impact of being uprooted from your community, familiar rituals, independence and privacy. The affordability of aging-in-place remodeling is enhanced by the fact that medically necessary changes (such as wider doorways or a roll-in shower) may be tax deductible if backed up by a letter from your doctor.
Who can benefit from Residential Accessibility Services?
The following groups can be helped by these residential accessibility or AIP services:
those living with someone who has special needs
those who may be visited regularly by people who have issues with mobility
long distance care givers or family members concerned about the safety and quality of life of their relatives or friends who need help in their home
those building a new home or modifying their existing home and want to include improvements that will make their home safer and more accessible
those considering relocating and needing help finding a home that is accessible or capable of being improved for better accessibility
and many others.
Regardless of your age or physical condition, it is always a good time to look for opportunities to improve the safety and accessibility of your home.
What kind of home modifications are we talking about? There are many opportunities. And options range from simple things like re-arranging furniture to adding a room to your home. Typical changes include the following:
Getting safely and securely into and out of the house.
Changes in the kitchen for easier meal preparation and eating.
Changes in the bathrooms - the number one place for accidents in your home. Moving around within the house.