Senior Living: Glossary of Terms

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

ADL’s are defined as the basic tasks essential for day-to-day functioning such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and getting in and out of bed or chair; including work, homemaking, and leisure. The inability to perform one or more ADLs usually indicates the need for some type of long term care or supportive housing services.

Adult Day Care:

A program providing structured supervision, recreation, and health care services during the day to older people.

Assisted Living Community:

An assisted living community is a housing option for older adults who need some assistance with activities of daily living but do not require 24-hour nursing care.

Adult Foster Home:

A private home that accepts a maximum of five adult residents who require housing and care. Its purpose is to provide services in a family setting for people who can no longer live in their own homes, but who do not require skilled nursing care. Adult Foster Homes in Lane County have been licensed by the State of Oregon

Level I – Residents may need “assistance” with routine care and must be in stable condition.

Level II – Residents may need assistance in up to four activities of daily living (ADLs) activities of daily living.

Level III – operated by a nurse or caregiver with more than three years of experience providing care to persons who are dependent in for or more areas of their care needs. The home may have only one resident at a time that is totally dependent.

Basic Services- Meals and help with eating; Help with dressing, Grooming and hygiene, Bowel and bladder care (incontinence);Help with walking or getting in or out of bed (mobility); Help with behavioral issues (behavior management); Help with medications and Activities.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC):

A residential community for older adults that combines independent retirement housing, assisted living, and nursing facility care, usually on one campus.

Home Health Services:

Services for occupational, physical, respiratory, speech therapy or nursing care; also included are medical, social worker, and home health aides.

Hospice Care:

Services to ease the pain of terminally ill individuals provided by an agency or program meeting the requirements of the state hospice services are provided.

In-Home Services:

Household services done by someone other than yourself because you’re unable to do them; Services include shopping, planning menus, preparation of meals, light house cleaning, vacuuming and other such services.

In-Home Care Services:

Personal Care services done by a trained caregiver to provide; bathing, personal grooming and hygiene, dressing, using the bathroom, mobility and movement, nutrition/hydration and feeding, housekeeping tasks, laundry tasks, shopping and errands, transportation and arranging for medical appointments. In-home care agencies may also provide medication and nursing services, but these services require additional conditions for approval. These conditions include additional policies, procedures and a nurse on staff.

Independent Living:

Generally any housing arrangement designed for seniors who are predominantly independent but need occasional help. Residents of independent living communities live in houses, cottages or private apartments and enjoy social events like game nights and shopping trips. Many retirement communities offer exercise classes, cultivate walking paths and provide fitness areas for maintaining physical fitness. These communities allow seniors to continue living an independent lifestyle within a safe and social environment.


Medicaid can be a funding source for individuals who meet certain financial and medical criteria. If you lack financial resources for your care, contact your local Department of human Service, Senior and People with Disabilities office or Area Agency on Aging to explore programs and services for which you may qualify.


A federal health insurance program providing health insurance coverage for elders 65 and older and permanently disabled individuals. Medicare Part A provides coverage of impatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility care, home health services, and hospice care. Medicare part B helps pay for the cost of physicians services, outpatient hospital services, medical equipment and supplies, and other health services and supplies.

Medicare Supplement Insurance:

A private insurance policy that covers many of the gaps in Medicare coverage.

Memory Care and Alzheimer’s Care:

A residential care community specializing in memory care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

Nursing Facility:

Facility provides 24 hour nursing care, rehabilitation services and assistance with activities of daily living to chronically ill as well as those who have been hospitalized for an illness or operation and require shore period of rehabilitation before returning home.

Private Health and Long Term Care Insurance:

If you have an insurance policy, check with your agent to determine exactly what the policy will cover. Some private health and long-term care insurance policies include coverage for assisted living/residential care. Medicare does not cover the cost of living in an assisted living or residential care community.

Residential Care Community:

Usually defined as semi-private apartments or private rooms with individual or common bathrooms and personalized assistance from staff 24 hours a day. A residential community provides medication management, meals, housekeeping, laundry, services and assistance with eating, dressing, and bathing, toileting, transferring, and walking. The residency may be secured 24 hours to accommodate residents who are at risk of wandering; providing an Endorsed Alzheimer’s and Memory Care community.

Respite Care Community:

Usually defined as care provided to an older person for a short-term stay at an assisted living or memory care community. Respite programs are designed with the needs of caregivers and their loved ones in mind. Respite services allow family caregivers the time to attend to personal needs while their loved ones receive high-quality, uninterrupted care in a warm and supportive environment. Respite care is also a good option for people who would like to explore long-term care options. Respite Care is available for temporary care stays usually for less than one month. Most assisted living and memory care communities offer this program, assuming there is availability, offer respite.


Private funds such as a trust fund or endowment or state/federal funding that a residence may have that enable them to rent apartment at below market rates.