Glossary of Terms

Some terminology we commonly use.

The option of retirement living comes as a major transition to most individuals and families. With the transition comes several different options, and terms that are often unfamiliar to people who are not involved in the industry. In an effort to assist our potential residents and their families in their search for retirement living, we have compiled a list of commonly used phrases or terms to help aid in the overall understanding of the health care, in particular retirement industry.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Functional activities that individuals typically engage in on a daily basis, which include but are not limited to; walking, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, showering, and grooming.

Home Health Care

Home health care includes a variety of health services that may be available to an individual who suffers from a potential illness or injury, in their own home. Home health care services are determined based on the condition of the patient, and are meant to be temporary services that are not spread over long periods of time. Ultimately, home health care attempts to assist individuals in getting better over a temporary period of time.


Organizations across the United States that concentrate on coordinating care for people who are not well, especially those who are terminally ill. Hospice generally provides care coordination for these individuals and their families.

Independent Living (IL)

A retirement option for individuals generally 55 years of age and older who are in need to no hands on care services, and who function independently.


Rehab involves a series of treatments focusing on physical, occupational, speech or other related entities, designed to help improve the functioning of our seniors. Usually Rehab involves an inpatient or outpatient stay, and is designed to be a temporary attempt to help individuals regain their strength or independence. Usually rehab is initiated following a significant decline, procedure, or diagnosis of an individual.


A temporary stay or accommodation away from the home in a setting such as a retirement community. From a retirement community standpoint, respite is usually referencing a short term stay for an individual(s) that needs general oversight or care services. The primary caregiver of the individual could need a break, have an emergency, or a predetermined obligation leaving the cared for individual unfit and unsafe to stay alone.


Medicare is a federally developed health insurance option, managed through the Social Security Administration. Medicare is focused on assisting with health care for the senior population.


Medicaid is a combined program coming from the state and federal levels that aims to assist families and low income individuals with costs incurred regarding medical or supervisory care services. Individuals are required to go through a qualification process to receive Medicaid benefits, and even though Medicaid is a federally developed program, it is run by each state individually, and qualification requirements vary per state.