Senior Living Glossary of Terms – Part Two

Common Senior Housing and Senior Living Terms

In part two of our two-part senior living glossary series, we break down some of the common senior housing options available to older adults in today’s senior living communities. We also provide definitions to some senior living terms you may have heard.

Senior Housing Options Defined

Alzheimer’s Care: professional care, support and treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Assisted Living: system of housing that provides care for seniors who need assistance with ADLs, but do not yet need 24-hour nursing services.

CCRC: also known as a Life Plan Community, these communities offer a continuum of care for seniors of differing health levels. Residents can transition seamlessly throughout the various levels of care on one convenient campus. The typical CCRC includes homes and apartments for independent living, apartments for assisted living, a nursing home for those requiring skilled care, rehabilitation and therapy services, and specialized memory support/Alzheimer’s care.

Dementia Care: expert care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments. See also: Alzheimer’s Care and/or Memory Care.

Garden Home: specially-designed independent living homes for seniors that offer maintenance-free living.

Independent Living: housing options that active and independent seniors can select from to meet their personal needs. Transportation, housekeeping, numerous amenities and activities help define this lifestyle and are included in independent living monthly fees. Actual residences range from spacious homes to smaller independent living apartments.

Life Plan Community: see CCRC

Memory Care Assisted Living: an environment or special neighborhood that provides memory support, care and treatment as well as assistance with ADLs. Memory care assisted living offers specialized care in a secure, comfortable setting.

Nursing Home: a facility that combines residential accommodations with 24-hour nursing services. See also: Skilled Nursing.

Miscellaneous Senior Living Terms

ADLs: stands for activities of daily living, which include bathing, grooming, eating, etc.

Aging in Place: the opportunity to remain in a certain living environment through the aging process as older individuals experience a decline mentally or physically.

Amenities: features that provide comfort, convenience or pleasure to make life easier.

Maintenance-free: requiring little or no maintenance responsibilities. Senior living communities often provide assistance with tasks like lawn care, housekeeping and general home maintenance, leaving residents with more time to enjoy life.

Teepa Snow’s GEMS® Brain Change Model: an approach to dementia care created by Teepa Snow, one of the nation’s leading educators on dementia, that focuses on the individual’s abilities throughout each stage of the disease, ensuring person-centered care for an improve quality of life.

Wellness Programs: an array of activities and events offered to residents in senior living communities, assisted living communities, memory care neighborhoods and skilled nursing facilities designed to improve overall wellbeing and lifestyle. Such wellness programs may include amenities such senior exercise classes, as well as educational endeavors, such as off-campus trips to the museum and aquarium, creative writing classes, book clubs and guest speakers.

For definitions of common senior healthcare services, be sure to check out part one of our senior living glossary.

Click here for more information about the senior care services available at American Senior Communities.