Definitions of Senior Care Terms
Activities normally performed in the course of daily life, such as feeding ourselves, bathing,
dressing, grooming, housework, correspondence, cooking, running errands, transferring from
bed to chair, using the toilet, etc.
Adult Day Care (sometimes referred to as Adult Day Services) is a service which provides
professional care services for adults in a senior-center type setting. The service is designed to
a pleasant social setting with ADL assistance and limited health services to adults who need
supervised care in a safe environment away from home during the day. There are
self-contained Adult Day Care services; many Adult Foster Care Homes, Assisted Living
Facilities, Nursing Homes and Hospitals offer Adult Day Care services as well. Some Adult Day
Care services offer evening and weekend hours in addition to traditional weekday business
hours of operation.
An Adult Foster Care Home (AFCH) is typically in a traditional single-family home structure
which has been modified to provide a supportive environment for seniors wishing to share
living space within a supportive setting. Licensing regulations for AFCH's differ from state to
state, but generally Adult Foster Care Homes provide on-site supervision 24/7, provide room
and board, have a limit to number of residents allowed (for instance: Oregon limits AFCHs to a
maximum of 5 residents) and mandates baseline adherence to providing assistance with ADLs.
Alzheimer's Care Facility
These long-term care facilities specialize in care and a safe, secure environment for
Alzheimer's Disease patients and residents afflicted with related forms of dementia. Many
Assisted Living Facilities with the appropriate infrastructure will accept residents with early and
mid-stage Alzheimer's Disease into the mainstream residential facility. In the event the disease
symptoms worsen, these residents can then be transferred to the formal Alzheimer's
An Assisted Living Facility is designed to be a value-added residential complex for seniors who
need some help with Activities of Daily Living but desire maintain as independent a lifestyle as
possible for as long as possible. Some Assisted Living Facilities are vertically integrated to the
extent they have separate on-campus units or separate floors which offer higher levels of
care, (including hospice care), which residents can transfer into if the need for a more
specialized level of care arises. In a Continuing Care Facility, the Assisted Living Facility is
sandwiched between an Independent Living Facility and a Nursing Home, all maintained in the
same complex or campus.
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