The following¬†are brief descriptions of choices available to seniors for meeting their long-term care needs.
Adult Day Health Care (ADHC):¬†Licensed community-based day care programs that provide a variety of health, therapeutic, and social services to seniors at risk of being placed in a nursing home.
Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Memory Care:¬†Communities specializing in or offering units for the care of seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss or other forms of dementia. This level of care can be offered in assisted living communities, board and care homes or skilled nursing facilities.
Apartments:¬†Independent living units with an age requirement. Typically does¬†not¬†include meals, activity programs, housekeeping or other services in the monthly rent.
Assisted Living:¬†A state-licensed senior community which offers a blend of housing, services, personalized supportive services and health monitoring and care designed for seniors’ who need help with activities of daily living. In California, these communities are designated as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs).
Board and Care (also called Residential Care):¬†Usually a single family home licensed to provide six or fewer seniors with meals, services and assistance with activities of daily living.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC):¬†Combines independent living, assisted living and nursing care in a single setting (often referred to as a “campus”). Normally requires an entry fee and offers a living unit, meals, services as well as care, including the medically intensive skilled nursing level.
Day Care:¬†Daytime programs that provide¬†¬†a range of geriatric services, such as social activities, nutrition and medications management.
Gerontologist:¬†¬†A professional that specializes in the particular needs and issues that relate to older adults and to aging populations in general. Some gerontologists work in coordinating health and/or social services, while others work at maintaining older adults active and healthy in the community. A number of gerontologists work in research, yet others are to be found in the policy arena trying to change laws and regulations that affect older adults. The distinguishing feature of gerontologists is that they are all working to improve the lives of older adults in some capacity or another.
Home Care:¬†Non-medical assistance and supportive services such as bathing, dressing, shopping, meal preparation and companionship provided in the homes of senior clients.
Home Health Care:¬†Health and medical care provided by licensed health care professionals, such as R.N.s, physical therapists, etc., which can be in the homes of senior clients or in senior living communities.
Hospice:¬†End-of-life services for those with terminal diagnoses, such as pain management as well as emotional and spiritual support, which can be provided in seniors’ homes or senior living communities.
Memory Day Care:¬†Daytime programs that provide¬†¬†a range of geriatric services, such as social activities, nutrition and medications management, to seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of memory loss.
Respite Care/Short-Term or Temporary Stays:¬†Seniors become “guest” residents typically in assisted living communities. They receive any needed assistance with activities of daily living as well as taking part in the community’s other programs such as meals and social activities. Senior’s family members can take a break from caregiving responsibilities.
Retirement or Senior Living:¬†Generic terms for housing for seniors that includes services such as activities, transportation meals and, sometimes, supportive, non-medical care.
Senior Care Referral (Placement) Agency/Case or Care Manager:¬†Companies or individuals who¬†help families and seniors assess their long-term care needs and find care or senior living communities appropriate for the senior’s needed level of care.
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Nursing Homes:¬†Medical facilities licensed to provide care with complex and serious medical problems. Overseen by a medical director, nurses and other licensed medical professionals required to be part of the staff.