Written by guest author Susan Gruber – forward.thinking.homes@gmail.com

Raise your hand if you have a person in your life about whom you worry but who refuses to accept your help or even listen to your ideas! I bet there are many hands up high out there, but I would guess that mine might be waving the highest!

I have a 97-year-old dad who is as feisty as they come. The Greatest Generation really did produce some incredible people! I mean that in the most complimentary way. Fiercely independent, resourceful, and determined…I am no match for him, nor do I ever want to take away or diminish his inner strength and dignity, but there are days when I wish he would just listen to my suggestions. Here I am, a trained Certified Aging in Place Specialist(CAPS), and he refuses to take any of my tips on how to make his home safer. His neighbor, Bernadette, could tell him the exact same thing as I have told him on multiple occasions, and he will listen to her. I have even resorted to asking Bernadette on the sly to suggest certain things just to get him to make some changes, but he is way too smart to fall for it! “You’ve been talking to Bernadette again!” he accuses, and he is always right!

It is actually encouraging that our family members do at least listen to other people who are not their loved ones, especially people who are experts in their field. My dad may not listen to me, but other moms and dads, husbands and wives, seem to think that I have some good ideas, just because I am a trained, objective outsider. If you are looking for a professional whose objective is to create a safe home environment in order to make aging in place a viable option, then I would suggest you locate a Certified Aging in Place Specialist in your local area. CAPS professionals are trained by the National Association of Home Builders to help guide people, regardless of their age, on making adaptations to their homes with safety in mind. In addition to providing an objective, trained opinion, they also offer a fresh set of eyes, often seeing easy, creative solutions to seemingly impossible barriers. Consulting with them before making changes to a home can help people make well-informed decisions. This may, in the end, save people money by doing things correctly from the start. If done proactively, life-changing falls can be prevented, and the beauty of a home may be preserved. You can quickly and easily locate CAPS professionals in your area by going to www.nahb.org/capsdirectory and in the filter boxes, click on CAPS and your State or City.

A CAPS professional cannot resolve all of your challenges, but they can take some worries off of your plate by at least helping provide a safer home environment. Peace of mind is priceless…Now, if only my challenges were so easily resolved!