How to Speak Assisted Living: A Glossary of Terms

Senior care can open a whole new world of possibility for families and individuals alike, but finding the right environment and understanding the differences and definitions can be tricky to navigate. Here is a glossary of terms to help you understand the ins and outs of senior living.

Employment Terms:

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): CNAs work under the supervision of other nurses. Their duties vary depending on patient need and location. CNAs are commonly responsible for recording vital signs, bringing food, and helping patients or residents get to various activities.

Catering Assistant: Helps with the preparation of food and clean-up.

Housekeeping: Responsible for cleaning guest rooms and tenant apartments, stocking common rooms with necessary supplies, and keeping the public areas and dining rooms clean.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs provide basic nursing care such as checking blood pressure, inserting catheters, discussing health care concerns with patients and reporting back to Registered Nurses or Doctors.

Registered Nurse (RN): RNs require the most schooling and, as such, have more responsibility. They often administer medication, supervise CNAs and LPNs, coordinate plans for patient care, perform diagnostic testing, and analyze results.

Senior Living Terms:

Apartments: Typically, these are regular, market-rate apartments devoted to the 55+ community.

Assisted Living: Community living that provides a helping hand when needed. Assisted living programs have package options to choose from depending on what you need or want help with. This is a great option for people striving to maintain a level of independence but require help with meals, laundry, light housekeeping, and the like.

Home Care: Nursing services, home health assistants, and rehabilitation services that come right into your home. This can be anything from medication management to homemaking tasks to physical therapy.

Memory Care: A comfortable, home setting specifically designed for individuals with memory loss.

Nursing Home: Long Term Care refers to an establishment devoted to the care of its residents for the indefinite future. Often, residents have their own personal space as well as community areas to enjoy planned functions.

Occupational Therapy/Rehabilitation: A facility devoted to aiding patients on the road to recovery. This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Leave a Reply