Retirement Living Glossary: Terms You Need to Know

Elderly-SmileAs you enter your senior years, there is a lot to learn. There are many living options and government programs available to you. If you are unfamiliar with the basic retirement living terms, you can meet many challenges.

Use this glossary of retirement living terms to help you get started:

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – This term describes any traditional aspect of self-care. When living in an independent living facility, seniors accept the responsibility for their ADL’s. This can include getting dressed, doing laundry, preparing meals and using the restroom independently. When a senior begins to need assistance with this type of care, it is necessary to consider assisted living care.

Aging in Place – When seniors choose to remain in their home or preferred environment, it is considered aging in place. However, with this type of living philosophy seniors still rely on the assistance of trained staff or dedicated caregivers.

Alzheimer’s disease – A common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that can lead to memory loss and confusion. Seniors suffering from this disease usually seek the supportive services of an Alzheimer’s Care facility or family members.

Assisted Living Community – Similar to a retirement living community, assisted living communities provide assistance for seniors that struggle with activities of daily living. Residents still maintain a high level of independence, but acquire the help they need on a daily basis.

Caregiver – Any person that is responsible for the care of an elderly family, neighbor or loved one on a regular basis. Caregivers are usually non-professional supporters and provide their services at no cost. Caregiving can be a stressful and difficult journey, but also a rewarding one.

Gerontologist – A scientist who specializes in the social, psychological and biological needs of an aging senior. Through their research and experiments, supportive care communities can better target their care and treatment for seniors.

Independent Living – Another name for retirement living, these communities are designed to allow seniors to maintain an active lifestyle without the responsibilities of managing a home. It is also an opportunity for single seniors to make new friends and build meaningful relationships.

Medicaid – A government program developed to help seniors pay for health services and long-term care facilities, Medicaid is a major benefit for low-income individuals. While the benefits of Medicaid are limited, it can be a helpful resource for seniors.

Medicare - Also a government program, Medicare is designed to provide medical insurance to all seniors in the United States over the age of 65. Many changes have been made recently to Medicare coverage, and it is necessary for seniors to understand their benefits under this program.

Skilled Nursing Facility – A type of supportive care that provides in-depth medical and rehabilitation care to seniors. Offered in short-term or long-term care facilities, these communities are designed to offer support to patients recovering from injuries or debilitating events.

Embrace your retirement living years and understand your options. Living in an independent living community can offer you many opportunities that you may not have living alone. Do your research and understand all that’s available to you as a senior.

Want to learn more about all Brookdale Senior Living retirement living communities have to offer? Contact us today to schedule a tour of one our communities near you.