Senior Living Glossary

55 and older communities: specialized housing restricted to adults age 55 and older, providing independent living residences and amenities.

55 and over communities: see 55 and older communities.

55 plus communities: see 55 and older communities

Active adult community: see independent living.

Activities of daily living: basic everyday activities such as eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, transferring, medication management, continence and toileting. Along with the instrumental activities of daily living, used by senior care providers and other health professionals to measure a senior’s functional status.

Adult assisted living: a type of long-term care for adults who are no longer able to live independently at home because they require help with activities of daily living. See assisted living facility, assisted living housing.

Adult care home: see care homes.

Adult family homes: residential long-term care facilities that provide personal care services, as well as room and board, for up to six adults. Homes are typically located in private houses in residential neighborhoods. See care homes.

Adult living communities: see independent living.

Adult living facilities: age-restricted housing for seniors over age 55 who are provided with professional care and supervision.

Adult retirement communities: see retirement facility

Aging in place: remaining in the same residence, even as health or cognitive needs change. Also: technologies and measures that support aging in place.

Alzheimer’s care facility: a long-term residential home that provides room, board and memory care services to seniors challenged by memory loss.

Alzheimer’s nursing homes: skilled nursing facilities that are specially designed and staffed to care for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia. See nursing home.

Assisted care homes: see care homes.

Assisted living centers: see assisted living facility, assisted living housing.

Assisted living facility: residential senior housing with supportive services and custodial care. Usually also offers meals, activities and housekeeping.

Assisted living house: see assisted living facility.

Assisted living housing: residential community for seniors who require assistance with basic activities of daily living. See assisted living facility.

Assisted living residence: see assisted living facility.

Assisted living retirement homes: see assisted living facility.

Assisted living services: supportive services for senior adults who need help with the activities of daily living.

Assisted retirement living: see assisted living facility, assisted living housing.

Care home facilities: see care homes.

Care homes: also known as Adult Family Homes, Residential Care Homes or Personal Care Homes, are private residential homes that accommodate up to ten residents. Staff provide basic care assistance with activities of daily living, such as cooking, bathing and laundry and in some homes, nursing care is provided.

Care plan: a detailed document that identifies an individual resident’s health and cognitive needs and proposes methods for meeting those needs. Used in assisted living and home care.

Center for independent living: see independent living.

Continuing care communities: see continuing care retirement community.

Continuing care community: see continuing care retirement community.

Continuing care retirement community (CCRC): senior housing that offers a continuum of care, usually in a single location. Typically includes independent living, assisted living and nursing home care. See also life care community.

Dementia homes: Dementia homes are senior living communities designed to care for patients challenged by memory loss.

Elder care home: see care homes.

Elder homes: see care homes.

Elderly assisted living: a type of long-term care for seniors age 55 and older who need help with activities of daily living.

Elderly facilities: see retirement facility.

Elderly nursing home: see nursing home.

Geriatric care manager: a health and human service specialist who advocates for seniors and their families particularly in regard to senior housing and senior care issues.

Home care: custodial care provided in one’s home.

Home health care: skilled nursing care provided in one’s home.

Hospice: a medical facility or program for the terminally ill whose primary goal is to improve patients’ final days by providing comfort care, with a focus on meeting physical and emotional needs.

Independent living: residential housing for seniors, usually equipped with standard safety features. No personal or medical care is offered.

Independent living program: a type of retirement living that offers seniors maximum independence and flexibility regarding how they wish to spend their time. See independent living.

Instrumental activities of daily living: routine tasks that require a certain amount of physical dexterity, sound judgment and organizational skills, such as using the telephone, managing medications, preparing meals, maintaining the home, managing finances, shopping and using transportation. Along with the activities of daily living, used by senior care providers and other health professionals to measure a senior’s functional status.

Life care community: a type of CCRC that offers an extended care (i.e., life care) contract exclusively. See also continuing care retirement community (CCRC).

Long-term care home: a residential facility that provides on-going care to residents who are in need of assistance with activities of daily living. See nursing home.

Long-term care insurance (LTCI): private insurance that helps pay senior care costs. Depending on the policy, coverage is available by type of care and location that the care will be provided (e.g., home care or medical care in a nursing home).

Long-term nursing homes: see nursing home.

Medicaid: a state-run public health program for low-income people and families with limited resources.

Medicare: a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, certain disabled people under 65, and people of any age with end-stage renal disease.

Nursing care facilities: see nursing home.

Nursing care facility: see nursing home.

Nursing home: a residential facility with 24-hour access to medical care. Rehabilitative services, meals, housekeeping and activities are usually offered as well.

Occupational therapy: a treatment that incorporates meaningful activity to promote participation in every day life.

Over 55 housing: see 55 and older communities.

Personal care homes: see care homes.

Private care home: see care homes.

Residential assisted living: see assisted living facility.

Residential care home: see care homes.

Residential care facilities: see residential care facility, assisted living facility.

Residential care facility: see assisted living facility.

Residential nursing homes: see nursing home.

Respite homes: freestanding facilities offering care and supervision of seniors, often with Alzheimer’s or dementia, on a short-term, fee-for-service basis.

Rest homes: see nursing home.

Retirement apartments: apartment housing designed for and restricted to seniors.

Retirement facilities: see retirement facility.

Retirement facility: a generic term for age-restricted housing communities that provide a range of care and services to seniors age 55 and older.

Retirement independent living: see independent living.

Retirement living community: see retirement facility.

Senior community: see retirement facility.

Senior residences: residential housing communities where adults over age 55 can go to either live independently or be cared for in a community filled with other seniors.

Senior retirement communities: see retirement facility.

Service plan: a detailed document that identifies an individual resident’s health and cognitive needs and proposes methods for meeting those needs. Used in nursing homes and home health care.

Skilled nursing facility : see nursing home.

Village retirement communities: clustered housing developments specifically designed for and restricted to seniors over 55 years of age.

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