Assisted Living

A special combination of housing, personalized supportive services, and health care designed to meet the needs—both scheduled and unscheduled—of those who need help with activities of daily living. Services provided in assisted living residences usually include three meals a day; housekeeping; transportation; assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and walking; access to health and medical services; 24-hour security and staff availability; emergency call systems for residents; health promotion and exercise programs; medication management; personal laundry services; and social and recreational activities.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A community that offers several levels of assistance including independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care. It is different from other housing and care facilities for seniors because it usually provides a written agreement or long-term contract between the resident (frequently lasting the term of the resident’s life) and the community, which offers a continuum of housing, services, and health care system commonly all on one campus or site.

Home Health Care

Provision of medical and nursing services in the individual’s home by a licensed provider. Covered by insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Independent Living

A residential living setting for elderly or senior adults that may or may not provide hospitality or supportive services. Under this living arrangement, the senior adult leads an independent lifestyle that requires minimal or no extra assistance. Generally referred to as elderly housing in the government subsidized environment, independent living also includes rental or market rate apartments or cottages where residents usually have complete choice in whether to participate in a facility’s services or programs. See Senior Apartment.

Memory Care Facilities

If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or another memory disorder, these facilities are the best option. Memory care facilities provide a safe and secure location and may operate on their own, as part of an assisted living community, or as part of a continuing care retirement community.

Nursing Homes

Provides 24-hour skilled care for the more acute patients. Patients generally rely on assistance for most or all daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. One step below hospital acute care, these facilities are State Licensed. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. Also referred to as Nursing Facility or Convalescent Home. See Skilled Nursing Facility.

Residential Care Homes

Provides personal assistance and other essential daily living activities for a period exceeding 24 consecutive hours. Individuals living in a residential care home are typically unable to sufficiently or properly care for themselves because of illness, disease, or mental illness. These individuals do not require the services of a registered or licensed practical nurse, except for emergencies.

Personnel in a residential care home provide 24-hour coverage for residential care services. In addition to three meals a day, medication administration services are included. Resident activities programs are also provided along with laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance services.

Senior Apartment

Age restricted, multi-unit housing for older adults who are able to care for themselves. Usually no additional services such as meals or transportation are provided. Similar to independent living.

Skilled Nursing Facility

A special facility or part of a hospital that provides medically necessary professional services from nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, and audiologists. Skilled nursing facilities provide round-the-clock assistance with healthcare and activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.

Skilled nursing facilities must meet federal criteria for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for nursing care including the supervision of the care of every patient by a physician, the full-time employment of at least one registered nurse, the maintenance of records concerning the care and condition of every patient, the availability of nursing care 24 hours a day, the presence of facilities for storing and dispensing drugs, the implementation of a utilization review plan, and overall financial planning including an annual operating budget and a three year capital expenditures program.