Navigating the world of senior living can feel overwhelming, especially when faced with unfamiliar terminology. To help you make informed decisions, we’ve compiled a list of essential senior living terms you need to know.
Independent living refers to housing designed specifically for elderly people who can manage their daily activities without assistance. These communities often provide amenities such as dining services, recreational activities, and social events to promote an active, maintenance-free lifestyle.
Assisted living communities offer a higher level of care for elders who require assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or medication management. These communities provide a combination of housing, personalized care services, and social opportunities.
Memory care is a specialized type of care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive impairments. These communities offer a secure environment and tailored programs to support the unique needs of residents with memory loss.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
A CCRC is a retirement community that offers a full spectrum of care options, including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. This allows residents to age in place, transitioning between levels of care as their needs change.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
An SNF provides round-the-clock medical care and rehabilitation services for older adults who require ongoing support following an illness, injury, or surgery. This level of care is typically short-term, with the goal of helping residents regain their independence.
Respite care is temporary care provided in a retirement community or skilled nursing home, allowing primary caregivers to take a break. This service offers short-term relief for caregivers while ensuring seniors receive the support they need.
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
ADLs refer to everyday tasks that individuals must perform to maintain their well-being, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. Retirement communities often assess residents’ ability to perform ADLs to determine the appropriate level of care.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)
IADLs are more complex tasks that support independent living, such as managing finances, preparing meals, and shopping. Evaluating an elderly’s ability to perform IADLs helps determine the need for assistance and the appropriate care setting.
Congregate housing is a type of senior living arrangement that combines private living spaces with shared common areas and services. This type of housing is designed to promote social interaction and provide support for elderly folks who can manage most of their daily activities independently.
Home Health Care
Home health care encompasses a range of medical and non-medical services provided in an individual’s home. This can include physical therapy, skilled nursing care, and personal care services, such as help with bathing and dressing.
Senior Living Terms
Understanding these senior living terms will empower you to make informed decisions when exploring care options for yourself or an aging loved one. As you research and visit communities, use this knowledge to ask the right questions and find the ideal solution for your unique needs.