As people age, they frequently require additional care in order to protect their health and safety. While some senior citizens require high-maintenance care, such as the type of care offered in a nursing home, many seniors require a minimal level of assistance, as is evidenced at an assisted-living center. When considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one, there are a few terms to keep in mind.
An assisted-living facility is a residential setting that provides its residents with personal and health-care services. These facilities are not nursing homes and do not provide sustained medical care. In addition, an assisted-living facility offers its residents 24-hour supervision.
ADLs, or activities of daily living
The six basic categories of ADLs include hygiene, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring from one position to another. Generally, a social worker or geriatric care manager evaluates a person's ability to carry out these tasks.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
offers detailed information about ADLs.
CCRC, or continuing-care retirement community
A CCRC is also known as a life-care community. These communities are generally on large campuses and include various facilities such as independent-living centers, assisted-living centers and nursing homes. This setting allows residents to move from one setting to another as their needs change. For example, a person may start living independently and then progress to an assisted-living center as he or she requires more assistance.
An average and healthy senior citizen takes approximately four to five prescription medications on a daily basis. Managing all of these medications can be challenging. Medication management involves reviewing all medications, accompanying clients to doctor appointments, setting up and helping manage pill boxes, and training caregivers in management strategies.
IALDs, or instrumental activities of daily living
IALDs are more complex and detail-oriented activities than ALDs. For example, one IALD involves the ability to locate and utilize resources and telephone numbers. Other IALDs include shopping, cleaning, managing medication, managing finances and driving or identifying modes of transportation.
National Center for Assisted Living
The National Center for Assisted Living focuses on serving the needs of assisted-living centers. Specific activities of this organization include national advocacy, education, networking, professional development and quantity initiatives.