Senior living, assisted living, memory care, and respite care can all open a whole new world to families. If you wish to learn more about the different terms used within the industry, take a look at our senior living glossary or reach out to our senior living professionals for immediate assistance.

Activities of Daily Living

This term may also be commonly referred to as daily living activities. It refers to feeding, grooming, bathing, toileting, showering, medication administration, mobility, and other self-care or maintenance activities that are related to daily living.

Assisted Living Communities

In the United States alone, there are over 28,000 assisted living communities. Assisted living provides older adults who have medical needs with accommodation options that include assistance with personal and medical needs. They have access to round-the-clock nursing assistance and personal care for daily living activities.

Aging in Place

This term refers to a concept of older adults choosing to remain in their place of residence during their retirement regardless of their mental and physical condition. Many of older adults who are aging in place do not have access to nursing assistance and personal care.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the loss of function and death of the brain’s nerve cells in several regions. The disease leads up to loss of mental abilities such as learning and memory. Alzheimer’s is also the most common cause of dementia.


A caregiver is an individual who is responsible for caring for a person who is sick, aged, or disabled. This term is usually used to refer to the primary person in charge of looking after a person with special needs which are often related to memory-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. A caregiver can be a healthcare professional or a family member.


Dementia refers to a severe loss of intellectual functions that include remembering, thinking, and reasoning. Dementia on its own is not a disease but it is a set of symptoms that can lead to various conditions and illnesses. Dementia cannot be reversed if it is caused by injury or disease but it is reversible if it is a result of alcohol, drugs, hormone or vitamin imbalances, and alcohol.

Medication Administration

Medication administration or medication management is a formal procedure that is facilitated by a certified nurse who follows closely a set of written rules of the administration of medication that is self-administered. The program may include management of the dosage and timing of medication for residents of assisted living communities and may include close coordination with the resident’s personal healthcare practitioner.

Nursing Assistant

A nursing assistant provides specialized care to residents of an assisted living community offering services for daily living activities such as dressing, feeding, bathing, toileting, grooming, and mobility. Nursing assistants often work under close supervision of a certified nurse.

Respite Care

Respite care offers temporary relief of duties for caregivers that can range from several hours a day to several days a week depending on the caregiver’s needs. It is available through an in-home care program or offered at an assisted living community.