Touring senior living communities can be overwhelming to a newcomer. In brochures and websites, you may come across abbreviations and terms that you’ve never heard before. Getting a handle on the language and terminology frequently used to describe senior living amenities will help you tremendously when comparing options for you or a loved one.

Types of Communities

Independent Living: Senior housing designed to offer a variety of support services. Independent living communities may offer meals, housekeeping services and transportation options. Socialization is encouraged too, and a daily schedule of events is traditionally included.

Continuing Care Retirement Community: This type of community is designed to offer different levels of care for residents based on their specific needs. The community may have independent living, assisted living or personal care, and skilled nursing care all on the same campus.

Personal Care Facility: This option of care is available to seniors who want to maintain as much independence as possible, but also need assistance with certain daily activities. For example, the residents at PPH can benefit from living in private suites, while gaining personalized and quality care from our skilled nurses on a need-by-need basis.

Skilled Nursing Facility: This type of home has the distinction of meeting the requirements designated by Medicaid and Medicare for payment. A physician must be on hand to oversee medical care of patients and a registered nurse is required around the clock.

Assisted Living Facility: This type of option is best suited for those who can mostly take care of themselves. The community will offer daily activities and personal care options. Meals may be provided on the grounds as well.

Care Options

Short-Term Rehabilitation: Nursing home care is provided on a short-term basis with the goal of returning the patient back to his or her home at the end of the stay.

Respite Care: Short-term care provided to a patient to give family members or caregivers a temporary break or rest.

Long Term Care: Medical and support services are offered when a disability or illness reduces the person’s capacity to take care of his or her self.

Memory Care: This is also commonly referred to as dementia care. This type of community is designed to assist patients with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): ADLs refers to necessary daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, toileting and eating. This phrase is used when discussing the care requirements for the senior.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs): Unlike ADLs that are required for survival, IADLs are considered activities that allow for a senior to live independently. This may include handling his or her own transportation and managing money.

Aging in Place: This refers to staying in one’s home regardless of changes in health status.

Insurance Coverage

Medicare: Federal insurance program that provides coverage to individuals over the age of 65 along with certain individuals who suffer from a disability.

Medicaid: Medicaid is an insurance program jointly funded by branches of the state and federal government. For eligibility, an individual must meet his or her state’s income requirements.

Managed Long Term Care (MLTC): This benefit is offered through Medicaid to individuals who suffer from a disability or chronic illness. Long-term care services are given to those who wish to stay within their homes.

Medigap: Medigap is occasionally referred to as secondary insurance and is utilized to cover the 20 percent of services that Medicare doesn’t typically cover.

Miscellaneous Terms for Senior Living Communities

Ambulatory: This is used to describe a person who can walk independently with or without an assistive device like a cane.

Accreditation: A governing body puts forth certain requirements to give their stamp of approval to a senior housing community. An accreditation helps ensure high quality of service provided by the home.

Living Will: This legal document is used to state one’s wishes in the event of a serious illness or injury that leaves the person unable to make his or her own decisions.

Medication Management: A formal plan is utilized to assist the patient with taking his or her medicines at the correct time and the right amounts.

Nursing Assistant: A nursing assistant is supervised by a registered nurse and handles personal care tasks such as bathing and dressing.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs provide health care services to patients and are permitted to administer medications and change wound dressings. One year of post-high school training is required and a licensing exam must be passed in order to work as an LPN.

Registered Nurse (RN): RNs must have two years of post-high school training, pass a state board exam and receive their license through a state agency. A RN will work with a physician to address a patient’s medical needs.

Physical Therapy: Treatment provided to those who have suffered an injury or illness that has affected their mobility. Massage, exercise and other treatment options are typically provided.

Palliative Care: This type of care is intended to improve the quality of life for patients and their family members. The specialized care plan is for those who suffer from serious illnesses and will focus on reducing symptoms and preventing chronic bouts of pain.

The Philadelphia Protestant Home provides all residents with a full continuum of services. Our goal is to provide residents with the opportunity to achieve their highest possible quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a tour or receive more information about our retirement home.