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 Senior Living Glossary of Terms

The following are some general terms you may encounter while at Daystar. Click on the terms with links to learn more.

Activities of Daily Living - Sometimes referred to as ADL’s, Activities of Daily Living include the key activities that we as human beings do as part of our normal day. These include such things as dressing, bathing, eating, walking, cooking and house cleaning.

Adult Day Services - Also referred to as respite services, adult day services can be an extremely enriching option for people living with family caregivers. These are often located within a senior housing community. Adult day services often provide supportive services, meal preparation, enriching activities and more throughout the day. At the end of the day, the person returns to his or her home.

Adult Family Home - Adult Family Homes are residential homes licensed to care for up to six elderly or disabled residents. They provide room, board, laundry, and necessary supervision, assistance with activities of daily living, personal care, and social services. Nursing services are sometimes available.

Assessment - Determination of a resident's care needs based on an evaluation of the resident's physical and psychological condition and ability to perform activities of daily living. Daystar performs these assessments, but we also focus on the social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and vocational parts of our residents’ being.

Assisted Living - With their wide range of services, assisted living communities provide a senior housing solution for adults who can live independently but need some assistance.

Assisted living facilities provide assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, grooming, eating, etc. Common assisted living facility amenities include meals, housekeeping, laundry service, transportation, medication assistance, emergency call service, planned activities, licensed nursing, and around-the-clock care. Most assisted living communities and assisted living homes offer licensed nurses on staff, medication assistance, and 24-hour observation of health status.

Learn more in-depth about Assisted Living

Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) - CMS is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which finances and administers the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) - A CCRC is a housing community that provides everything from independent living to assisted living to nursing care. CCRCs, sometimes also called life care communities, typically require a significant down payment in addition to monthly service fees. However, in return, the person knows he or she will have access to nursing care in the CCRC if needed.

Independent Living- Independent living is frequently referred to as retirement communities, retirement homes, senior apartments, or senior housing.

You are as independent as possible in your personal care, however, independent living housing options offer a sense of community and numerous levels of service, such as laundry and housekeeping. Many independent living communities offer a range of social events and outings as well. Additional offerings include meal plans, fitness facilities, groundskeeping and household maintenance.

Learn more in-depth about Independent Living

Medicaid - The federally supported, state operated public assistance program that pays for health care services to people with a low income and minimal assets. Medicaid pays for nursing home care, limited home health services, and may pay for some assisted living services, depending on the state.

Medicare - A federally administered system of health insurance available to persons aged 65 and over. It pays for some rehabilitation services, but otherwise does not pay for long-term care. It has four parts A, B, C and D.

Memory Care - Specially designed supportive housing for people living with the challenges of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Nursing Facility - Sometimes called a skilled nursing facility or care center, this is a licensed, hospital-like setting that provides 24-hour nursing and other health-related, services to people who require continued care.

Respite Care- Scheduled short-term nursing care provided on a temporary basis to an individual who needs this level of care but who is normally cared for through home and community-based services. It provides relief for caregivers while providing proper care for the individual.

Learn More in-depth about Respite Care

Skilled Nursing Care - Refers to the type of daily nursing and rehabilitative care that can be performed only by, or under the supervision of, skilled licensed medical personnel.

Download a Guide to Assisted Living