Sage in Home Inc. was created to help families and family caregivers make better decisions about products and services for active living. We focus on the “home”, specifically small improvements and remodeling of existing homes and planning new homes.
We think that it is challenging to take into account all aspects of lifestyle, daily life and health-related needs as well as safety, comfort and ease of use when making decisions. Specifically we want to help consumers learn:
- HOW TO select products by feature in order to:
- Increase safety in the home, for people of all ages including visitors
- Remain active, spending time with children, grandchildren and friends, and
- Make smart financial choices
- WHY qualifications matter in selecting professionals services for making small home improvements, renovating a home or building a new home
- ABOUT resources to help Seniors and family caregivers helping aging parents
Sage in Home is also a resource for healthcare, home care and other professionals who want to help assist families with patient safety when a Senior comes home after hospital, needs a safety upgrade at home or has ease of use concerns.
The founders of Sage in Home are Certified Aging in Place Specialists and have taken National Association of Home Builders courses in Universal Design. In the About Us section you can read about how Helping a Senior Parent led to creating an Aging in Place Resource for Families and Healthcare Professionals.
Relevant to Sage in Home, accessible design is “focused on principles of extending standard design to people with some type of performance limitation to maximize the number of potential customers who can readily use a product, building or service.” (ISO/IEC Guide 71 by the International Organization for Standardization International and the Electrotechnical Commission)
Accessible Design has created many new products and product features that offer comfort, convenience and sometimes even a sense of luxury that can enhance daily living for anyone.
“Active living” is not a professionally defined term. When Sage in Home refers to “active living at home” we are expressing the generally held desire to live in your own home, rather than an institution, as we mature. We discuss this in our blog post entitled “5 Reasons why Home is best for Active Living“.
We believe that the physical home should support active living taking lifestyle, health-related needs, safety and comfort into account – both now and in the future.
On our website, active living is an inclusive term to describe Aging in Place, Universal Design, Accessible Design and other concepts used by professionals in design, construction and other industries. Each of the concepts listed above is defined in this glossary.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines a set of design requirements for accessibility products and accessible buildings to accommodate people with disabilities. The ADA applies to government, commercial and public buildings, not residential homes.
For some products, the ADA has requirements such as weight capacity, height, depth and other dimensions specific to a product. At Sage in Home, we will tell you when the ADA has set requirements for a product or its use and comment on the applicability of those standards to a residential home or apartment.
Aging in Place
The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.
Read the Sage in Home definition in What is Aging in Place?
Bariatrics is the branch of medicine for treating people with limitations in health due to being overweight or obese. From the center for Disease Control – For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
- An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
- An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
A person who is obese should consult an occupational therapist for assistance in planning a safe and comfortable home.
Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)
The Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation is a program offered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that covers topics relating to the specific segment of the residential remodeling industry focused on home renovations to allow people to age at home. The program teaches the technical as well as the customer service aspects of this industry. (NAHB, 2012)
At Sage in Home, we provide a list of CAPS designated professionals in our Directory. You can search among CAPS professionals by location, business type or qualifications.
The co-founders of Sage in Home obtained their CAPS designation in 2011 and their Universal Design/Build designation in 2012. See Design at Sage in Home, to learn how some of the principles from our CAPS training are incorporated on this website.
Helpful links to the NAHB website:
- Learn more about the CAPS designation.
- Learn about more about Aging-in-Place Remodeling from the NAHB.
Chronic Health Conditions
Health conditions that are considered chronic are usually persistent with long-lasting effects and are rarely cured completely. Chronic diseases affect more than 133 million Americans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012.).
Examples of chronic health conditions include: visual impairment, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, obesity, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, stroke, and deafness (World Health Organization, 2012).
Many chronic health conditions create challenges to daily living. Finding safety, comfort and ease of use in the home (Aging in Place) is one step to addressing those challenges of daily living.
Comfort at Sage in Home
We believe that finding Comfort is an important aspect of a product purchase. Although Safety should come first, selecting a product that is comfortable will promote its use. As Certfied Aging in Place Specialists, we believe that Aging in Place = Safety, Comfort and Ease of Use in the home.
Comfort is very important in Bath Safety where, if products aren’t used because they aren’t comfortable, important benefits such as fall prevention can be lost. For further discussion of this point, consider reading Comfort promotes Use – Bath Chairs.
A condition is an ailment, illness, injury impairment, or physical or mental disability. (Dictionary.com 2012) This is a broad term that can be used to describe almost any type of illness. At Sage in Home, the word “conditions” is often interchanged with the word “disease”.
Persons living with disabilities should be under the care of qualified healthcare professionals. In addition, they might find the services of Certified Aging in Place Specialists and professionals who have training and experience in Universal Design to be very helpful in remodelling, designing or building a home. Also see ADA (American Disabilities Act).
Design at Sage in Home
At Sage in Home we are trained in, or have become familiar with the following design principles (each defined in glossary):
- Aging in Place(Certified Aging in Place Specialist trained by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB))
- Universal Design(Universal Design/Build by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB))
- Accessible Design(ISO/IEC)
At Sage in Home, we want to provide unbiased, practical and helpful guidance so we draw on our training and research to allow you to make the decisions that best meet the daily living needs of you and your family, in your home.
The differences between Aging in Place and Universal Design are often debated. Rather than join the debate about the terms Universal Design and Aging in Place, Sage in Home hopes to simply allow you to make the decisions about the products and services that best meet the needs of you and your family.
Ease-of-Use – Commendation
The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use commendation is based on independent testing of products. Manufacturers can submit their products for testing, need to pass a rigorous three-step process. Those that are found to be easy to use by someone with arthritis are given the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation.
Sage in Home provides a Sage Tip to find Ease of Use in each Sage Product Guide. We also use the term Ease of Use to indicate specific product features that make the product easier to use.
Green at Sage in Home
In the Sage Product Guides, we consider whether there are Green Living choices to be made in a product purchase. In addition you will find a Sage Tip about environmentally sensitive choices in the material section of each product when relevant.
MedlinePlus is a website for the National Institute of Health. This website provides up to date, reliable information about general health, specific disease/conditions, drugs, supplements, treatments, medical research, and clinical trials.
At Sage in Home, we consider MedlinePlus to be a trusted source of information. Our health-related articles about diseases and conditions often cite Medline Plus as a source. We recommend that you obtain medical information from trusted sources like Medline rather than searching the Internet. Medline Plus is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, available in English and Spanish, and free of advertising.
National Home Builders Association (NAHB)
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a trade association that helps promote the policies that make housing a national priority. Since 1942, the NAHB has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large. The NAHB has a long history in the industry and with serving its members. Each NAHB member belongs to a local home builders association.
Our directory includes Aging in Place Professionals who obtained the Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation. Below we list other designations listed in the profiles of Aging in Place Specialists in our directory. Learn more about designations on the NAHB website .
Associate – Certified Graduate (CGA)
Certified Graduate Associate (CGA) professionals learn about the home building business from experienced builders and remodelers. Many CGA professionals are suppliers or other professionals serving the home building industry.
Builder – Certified Graduate (CGB)
Certified Graduate Builders (CGBs) earn their designation through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). CGBs are builders that have built at least one dwelling in the last 24 months. CGBs also must comply with state/local requirements for insurance and licensing.
Builder – Graduate Master (GMB)
Graduate Master Builders (GMBs) earn their designation through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). GMBs have already earned their CGB designation and have a minimum of 10 years building experience.
Green Professional – Certified (CGP)
Certified Green Professionals (CGPs) earn their designation through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). CGPs are trained to incorporate energy, water and resource efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects. CGPs have at least two years’ experience and are required to attend continuing education.
Green Professional – Master Certified (MCGP)
Master Certified Green Professionals (MCGP) earn their designation through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). MCGPs are experienced building industry professionals with at least five years of green building experience and have built dwellings recognized by government certified green residential programs.
Remodeler – Certified Graduate (CGR)
Certified Graduate Remodelers (CGRs) earn their designation through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). CGRs are licensed and/or insured contactors/remodelers who own, operate or supervise a remodelling business. CGRs have at least five years of experience. This link takes you to the NAHB website to learn more about this designation.
Remodeler – Graduate Master (GMR)
Graduate Master Remodelers (GMRs) earn their designation through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). GMRs are Certified Graduate Remodelers who obtain further education and have at least 15 years remodeling experience. Learn more about working with a remodeler here.
From the center for Disease Control (“CDC”) – For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
- An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
- An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
A person who is obese should consult an occupational therapist and consider special bariatric products for the home. See Bariatric above.
Safety at Sage in Home
As Certified Aging in Place Specialists, safety is our primary consideration. In the Sage Product Guides, we have a Sage Tip for these aspects of safety:
- Fall Prevention (Support, Balance, Slipping)
- Size & Fit (The size of the person and the space available in the home)
- MultiGen (Multi-generational living, Grandchildren/parent visiting,Visitor Friendly home)
- Other Safety Factors – specific to the product (example: scalding in bathroom)
Architect Ron Mace defined universal design as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” Practically, Universal Design has become associated with clean and open design, in part we believe, because some professionals prefer to talk about Universal Design as opposed to Aging in Place Design due to the negative connotations of the word “aging”.
To learn more about the differences between Aging in Place Design and Universal Design, read this short article CAPS 101: Aging in Place vs. Universal Design on the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) website.
Visitor Friendly Home
This is the concept of planning or remodeling a home, or specifically part of a home, to accommodate the needs of potential visitors to the home.
One question to ask is whether grandparents or other relatives with possible mobility and other needs will be coming to visit. Another question to ask is who visits the home for social activities, such as a book or bridge club. Using our suggested 10 or more year planning horizon, what is the likelihood that a friend will develop needs that you would want to accommodate?
A common renovation considered for a Visitor Friendly Home is a main floor bathroom that has adequate room for a visitor with a walker, or possibly a wheelchair.
See Design at Sage in Home, to learn how some of the Visitor Friendly Home principles are incorporated on this website.
WaterSense is a label developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify products that use less water. WaterSense products can be found in almost every category of product that uses/outputs water.
Click Here to read more about WaterSense.
Click Here for the WaterSense Rebate finder for Toilets.