franciscan ministries logo

Senior Living Glossary – Part One

April 3, 2018

Blog image

Senior Housing Options and Healthcare Services

When you’re just starting to research senior living communities for yourself or for a loved one, navigating through all the different options and services might feel somewhat overwhelming. In part one of our senior living glossary series, we’ve compiled some of the most common terms regarding senior housing and healthcare services to help ensure you are making an educated decision about you or your loved one’s future.

Senior Housing Options

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care – expert memory care and support for those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments, usually provided in a specialized neighborhood, wing or part of the community.

Assisted Living – supportive living for seniors who need physical assistance with ADLs (see above). Assisted living residents at Franciscan Communities maintain their dignity and independence while benefiting from a person-centered approach to caregiving where they get to make choices. Those in assisted living receive some meals, housekeeping, security, safety and numerous opportunities for social interaction. Additional assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, medication management and other necessities are also available for assisted living residents.

CCRC – also known as a Life Plan Community, these communities offer a full-spectrum of care for seniors of differing care levels. The typical CCRC includes homes and apartments for independent living, assisted living apartments, a nursing home for those requiring skilled care, rehabilitation and therapy services, and often specialized memory support/Alzheimer’s care. The greatest benefit of a CCRC is that residents can move from one level of care to another based on their needs, but remain in the security of comfortable and known surroundings.

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

Life Plan Community – see CCRC

Sheltered Care – a level of personal care that provides a safe environment for seniors while allowing them to remain as self-sufficient and independent as possible. Assistance with daily activities, including but not limited to, meal preparation, bathing and dressing is provided.

Senior Healthcare Services

Adult Day Care – specialized day care for seniors who need companionship and/or are physically or emotionally disabled and, thus, need support in a safe and secure environment. The care is only provided during daytime hours with the recipient returning home in the evening. Also known as Adult Day Services.

Home Health Care – In-home skilled medical and nursing services provided by a licensed provider.

Hospice – compassionate care and comfort provided to those with a terminal illness, as well as support to their family members. Hospice care can be provided in-home or within a care community.

LTC – long-term care. Services are provided for an extended period of time, usually a month or longer, to those with chronic health conditions or illnesses.

Occupational Therapy – specialized training provided by an occupational therapist that improves one’s ability to complete daily tasks, such as eating, bathing, dressing and homemaking.

Person-Centered Care – also known as the Culture Change Model, a form of long-term care that focuses on nurturing and guiding the individual. Resident choice is honored, as caregivers follow an individualized care plan based on the likes and dislikes of the resident, ensuring the highest quality of life possible and improving life expectancy.

Palliative Care – specialized medical care for people with serious or terminal illness that focuses on providing relief from symptoms, improving overall quality of life.

Physical Therapy – under the direction of a therapist, one is instructed to use specific exercises and physical activities to condition muscles and restore strength and movement, helping to regain their functional abilities.

Rehabilitation Programs – the method of restoring individuals who have been incapacitated by injury or disease and returning them to their highest possible level of function, independence and quality of life. Rehabilitation often includes a combination of physical, occupational and speech/language therapies.

Respite Care – temporary care that provides relief for a family caregiver who cannot care for someone over a period of a day or longer. This service is often provided at a retirement community or in one’s home.

Skilled Nursing – the level of care that must be provided by or supervised by a registered nurse. Usually provided within a nursing home, it includes 24-hour skilled nursing care, room and board and activities for the resident.

Speech Therapy – the rehabilitation process for those who have difficulty communicating verbally due to physical or cognitive problems. It includes both speech and language rehabilitation.

Also, check out part two of our senior living glossary series, where we define more general senior living terms.

Contact us to find out how we can help you or a loved one start planning for the future today!