KEY DEFINITIONS HELP YOU MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS

At Always Best Care Senior Services, we believe that an educated, informed consumer makes the best decisions.

Our objective is to help you make informed decisions about important health care issues and how they affect your daily life. Because we respect your right to make those decisions, our emphasis is on providing a variety of resources from a wide spectrum of viewpoints, not on simply presenting our own opinions.

We have pulled a variety of terms and phrases that are typically associated with senior housing and assisted living, and we are pleased to present definitions for each of these to you. If you have any questions about these definitions, or the activities, issues or places they describe, please contact the local Always Best Care office nearest you.

Select from the list below to view the definition

Accreditation

Assisted Living Community

Congregate Housing

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

Independent Living Community

Kitchenette

Life Care Community

Long-Term Care

Nursing Home

Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE Home)

Accreditation

A Seal of approval given by a governing body to a housing and/or service provider. To become accredited, the community or provider must meet specific requirements set by the accreditation entity and is then generally required to undergo a thorough review process by a team of evaluators to ensure certain standards of The accrediting organizations are not government agencies or regulatory bodies. Examples of some accreditation bodies for the senior housing and care industry include CCAC (Continuing Care Accreditation Commission), CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), and JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organizations).
Back to top

Assisted Living Community

In general, a state-licensed program offered at a residential community with services that include meals, laundry, housekeeping, medications reminders, and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Ac tivities of Daily Living (IADLs). The exact definition will vary from state to state, and a few states do not license assisted living facilities. They are generally regarded as one to two steps below skilled nursing in level of care. Ap proximately 90 percent of the country's assisted living services are paid for with private funds, although some sates have adopted Medicaid waiver programs. Might also be referred to as Personal Care, Board and Care, Residential Care, Boarding Home, etc., although some states differentiate between their definition of "Assisted Living" and these other terms (e.g., Washington state recognizes and licenses "Assisted Living" facilities as well as "Boarding Homes"; Although licensed by the State of Washington, a Boarding Home does not meet the higher physical plant and service requirements necessary to be considered an Assisted Living facility).
Back to top

Congregate Housing

Congregate Housing is a shared living environment designed to integrate the housing and services needs of elders and younger disabled individuals. The goal of Congregate Housing is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supportive services in a residential setting. Congregate Housing is neither a nursing home nor a medical care facility.
Back to top

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

Housing planned and operated to provide a continuum of accommodations and services for seniors including, but not limited to, independent living, congregate housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. A CCRC resident contract often involves either an entry fee or buy-in fee addition to the monthly service charges, which may change according to the medical services required. Entry fees may be partially or fully refundable. The fee is used primarily as a method of privately financing the development of the project and for payment for future health care. CCRCs are typically licensed by the state. See also Life Care Community.
Back to top

Independent Living Community

Multi-unit senior housing development that may provide supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation (Congregate Housing, Supportive Housing, Retirement Community). Independent living typically encourages socialization by provision of meals in a central dining area and scheduled social pro grams. May also be used to describe housing with few or no services (such as a Senior Apartment).
Back to top

Kitchenette

Each facility may have its own definition of a kitchenette, but generally one includes a sink, cabinet space, and a mini-refrigerator, maybe a microwave. In contrast, a full kitchen would usually have a burner unit, sink, cabinets, full-size refrigerator, and possible a microwave or stove.
Back to top

Life Care Community

A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that offers an insurance type contract and provides all levels of care. It often includes payment for acute care and physician's visits. Little or no change is made in the monthly fee, regardless of the level of medical care required by the resident, except for cost of living increases.
Back to top

Long-Term Care

Provision of services to people of any age who are afflicted with chronic health impairments.
Back to top

Nursing Home

Facility licensed by the state that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. May be referred to as skilled nursing facility or convalescent home.
Back to top

Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE Home)

A residential care home for seniors, or RCFE, sometimes also known as a Board & Care Home, is typically a tradi tional home that has been converted to a care home and is licensed by the state to take care of seniors. Most RCFE's provide care for up to six seniors; however, they can be smaller or larger in size. RCFE homes were the first widely recognized form of assisted living, and they provide similar care but typically not as much social interaction. Residents of an RCFE Home have a private or shared room, and may have private or shared bathrooms. The rooms usually do not include a kitchen, since providing meals is a major function of the home. RCFE homes generally have some common areas for socializing, including a dining area and one or more other rooms that are mainly for informal contact. Some of the key characteristics of an RCFE home are:

  • Activities of daily living (dressing, personal care, bathing, incontinence care)
  • Meals served (usually communal style)
  • 24-hour supervision (around the clock staff but not necessary Awake staff)
  • Community Services (laundry, cleaning, etc.)
  • Health services (medications management and dispensing, diabetes care)
  • Overall health (physical, emotional)

Back to top

Contact Us>

Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated

41