A Glossary of Senior Living Terms

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Activities director: A staff member at a senior living community responsible for planning and organizing social, recreational, and educational activities for residents.

Activities of daily living (ADLs): Basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, and grooming that are necessary for daily life.

Age-restricted community: A type of senior living community where all residents must meet a minimum age requirement, typically 55 or 62 years old.

Assisted living: A type of senior living where residents receive assistance with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Care plan: A detailed plan outlining a senior's medical and non-medical needs and the steps necessary to meet those needs.

Caregiver: A person who provides care for a senior, typically a family member or professional caregiver.

Continuing care retirement community (CCRC): A type of senior living community that offers multiple levels of care, from independent living to skilled nursing, all on one campus.

Geriatrician: A medical doctor who specializes in the care of older adults.

Home health care: Medical and non-medical care provided in a senior's home, typically by a licensed caregiver.

Hospice care: End-of-life care provided to seniors with terminal illnesses.

Independent living: A type of senior living where residents live in private apartments or houses and have access to communal spaces and activities, but do not require assistance with daily tasks.

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs): More complex tasks such as managing finances, grocery shopping, and transportation that are necessary for independent living.

Long-term care insurance: Insurance designed to cover the costs of long-term care, including senior living communities, in-home care, and skilled nursing.

Medicaid: A joint federal-state program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals, including seniors.

Medicare: A federal health insurance program for seniors over the age of 65 and individuals with certain disabilities.

Memory care: A type of senior living designed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other memory impairments.

Palliative care: Medical care focused on improving a senior's quality of life and managing symptoms, often provided alongside curative treatment.

Resident council: A group of senior living community residents who meet regularly to discuss issues, suggest improvements, and advocate for their needs.

Respite care: Short-term care provided to seniors to give their primary caregivers a break.

Skilled nursing: A type of senior living where residents receive round-the-clock medical care and assistance with daily tasks.

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