Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

Industry Terms

As you begin discussions about senior care, you may hear some words that are unfamiliar to you. Below is a list of some of the most commonly used terms in our industry along with their meanings.

Independent Living: Apartment housing for seniors who do not typically need regular assistance with daily activities

Assisted Living: Apartment housing for those who wish to remain independent but need some regular, supportive care or assistance with daily activities

Memory Care: Specialized levels of care and assistance for individuals with memory loss conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer's

Skilled Nursing Facility: Nursing home with medical services 24-hours a day, care may be on a short-term (see also - definition for respite care) or long-term basis, highest level of senior medical care/supervision

Respite Care: Short-term care typically following a surgery and/or while receiving rehabilitation services

Full Continuum of Care: Providing care from independent living through skilled nursing, allowing residents to receive care and remain living in the same senior community throughout any and all changes in their care needs

Age in Place: Providing care from independent living through skilled nursing, allowing residents to receive care and remain living in the same senior community throughout any and all changes in their care needs

Failure Free Philosophy: Through a nurturing and engaging setting for residents in memory care, personalized plans ensure seniors a successful and rewarding experience, supporting their individual strengths

Home Care: Provides services to independent seniors in need of some assistance, allowing them to remain living in their homes

Dementia: Group of symptoms caused by conditions or changes in the brain that affect an individual's intellectual and social abilities causing interference with daily functioning, generally includes memory loss

Alzheimer's Disease: Most common type of dementia caused by the destruction of brain cells, Alzheimer's typically progresses slowly – over 7 to ten years causing a gradual decline in cognitive disabilities, eventually the brain is no longer able to function properly – affecting memory, movement, language, judgment, behavior, and abstract thinking

Lewy Body Dementia: Another type of dementia, symptoms are similar to Alzheimer's Disease but also often include fluctuations in confusion and clear thinking, visual hallucinations, and tremors/rigidity, individuals often have a sleep behavior disorder in which they act out their dreams causing thrashing and/or kicking during sleep

Vascular Dementia: Damage to the brain caused by problems with the arteries that serve the brain and/or heart, symptoms begin suddenly, often after a stroke and may occur in individuals with high blood pressure or previous stroke/heart attack

Sundowning: Pattern of behavior troubles or difficulty late in the afternoon or evening, often affecting individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia

Hospice: Care with a focus on comfort at end-of-life, providing care at one's home or place of residence

Ambulatory: Ability to walk independently and without assistance

Medicare: government health insurance program for individuals over the age of 65

Medicaid: federal and state insurance program that provides health care funding to individuals who are medically and financially needy

Commonly Used Acronyms:

CBRF: Community Based Residential Facility

RCAC: Residential Care Apartment Complex

CCRC: Continuing Care Retirement Community

ADLs: Activities of Daily Living

CASP: Certified Aging Services Professional

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