Care Services Glossary

Adult Day Care Programs

Adult Day Programs are designed to meet the needs of older adults and support their strengths, abilities, and independence. They offer opportunities to be social and to participate in activities in a safe and supervised environment. Adult Day Programs also give the caregiver a break from caregiving. Adult Day Centers can vary from one provider to the next but many Adult Day Programs may provide: activities, personal care, nutrition, education and occasionally transportation to the site. Adult Day Programs are typically private pay. Commonly referred to as: Adult Day Care, Adult Day Program.

Adult Family Homes

Adult Family Homes are regular neighborhood homes where staff assumes responsibility for the safety and well-being of the adult. Typically, it’s a place where 3 or 4 adults who are not related to the provider, reside and receive care, treatment or services that are above the level of room and board. Some may also provide occasional nursing care. Commonly referred to as: Senior Foster Home, Adult Foster Home.

Aging & Disability Resource Centers

Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) provide information and assistance to individuals and professionals seeking assistance on behalf of their clients planning for their future long-term care needs. ADRC programs serve as the entry point to publicly administered long-term support, and can include those funded under Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, Veterans Health Administration, and state revenue programs.

Alzheimer’s Association Chapters

Physical offices and/or staff of the Alzheimer’s Association who provide supportive programs and services to help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers deal with the disease and its impact on their lives. Chapters focus on a specific community or geographic area.

Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are local organizations across the nation that develop and promote services and option to maximize independence, quality of life and choice for older people, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers. Each AAA has an Area Plan on Aging and Advisory Council on Aging, which is made up of volunteer citizens and guides the organization’s work. The term Area Agency on Aging is a general term: the specific title and organization of the governmental unit will vary from state to state. The AAA also serves as a referral source for individuals seeking assistance.

Assisted Living

​Assisted Living Communities (AL’s) can be individual apartments that may have a kitchenette and offer 24-hour on-site-staff, group dining, and activity programs. Limited nursing services may be available for an additional fee. Services may also include housekeeping, transportation, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), exercise programs, medication management, laundry, and medical services. Check each facility for exact services. Commonly referred to as: Assisted Living Facility, Supportive Living Facility, Adult Family Home, and Residential Care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care on one campus. Residents move from one setting to another as their needs change but stay in the same CCRC community. A significant payment is usually required (called an endowment) prior to admission, as well as monthly fees. Often there is a lifetime written contract that assures care through the progression of care needs. Commonly referred to as: Life Care Community and Retirement Communities.

Diabetes Education Centers

Diabetes Education Centers are designed to give patients information, care, and support to manage their illness and live a health, rewarding life. Centers are recommended for newly diagnosed patients as well as those whose diabetes control needs improvement.

Elder Law Attorneys

Elder Law Attorneys specialize in the areas of law that impact older adults. Areas of practice can include: advanced directives, powers of attorney, estate planning, wills, trusts, guardianships, fraud, end-of-life planning, Social Security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid application.

Geriatric Care Managers

A Geriatric Care Manager works with the client in managing various types of health and social care services. Geriatric Care Managers accomplish this by combining a working knowledge of health and psychology, human development, family dynamics, public and private resources, while advocating for their clients throughout the continuum of care. Geriatric Care Managers are typically private pay. Commonly referred to as: Elder Care Managers, Senior Healthcare Manager, Aging Life Care Managers, and Professional Care Managers.

Home Care (non medical)

Home Care agencies typically provide non-medical personal care services, assisting with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation. However, some home care agencies also provide Home Healthcare services which can vary from one provider to the next. Home Care services are typically not covered by Medicare or Medicaid and are instead private pay. Commonly referred to as: Home Companion, Private Duty Aide, Live-in Aide, Private Nurse.

Home Healthcare

Home Healthcare can include skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, medical social work, and home health aide. When medical supplies are medically necessary, they can help treat restore, rehabilitate or sustain the patient in the home. Physician orders are required for these services and the patient must meet certain guidelines to qualify. Medicare, Medicaid, and Private Insurance may cover these services when the appropriate criteria are met. Commonly referred to as: Home Health.


Hospice care is a suite of services for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness and a medical prognosis of six months or less life expectancy. Services can include pain management nursing care, home health aide, social work, spiritual care, and medical supplies. Services can be provided in an inpatient facility or in the patient’s home. Physician orders are required to initiate Hospice services.


An institution that provides medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured.

Hyperbaric Treatment Centers

Hyperbaric Treatment (HBOT) Centers practice the medical use of oxygen at a higher level than atmospheric pressure. Centers typically consist of a pressure chamber with the means of delivering 100% oxygen for various treatments.

Independent Living

Independent Living Community (IL) is a multi-unit, senior housing development that may provide supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation. Independent Living typically encourages socialization by providing meals in a central dining area and scheduled social programs. It may also be used to describe housing with few or no services. Commonly referred to as: Senior Apartment, Senior Residences, Congregate Housing, Supportive Housing, and Retirement Community.

Medical Equipment Suppliers

Suppliers of Medical Equipment or Durable Medical Equipment (DME). The equipment provides therapeutic benefits to a patient in need due to certain medical conditions and/or illness. Many times the equipment is ordered or prescribed by a physician.

National Organizations

Comprised of national organizations which are rooted in healthcare and patient advocacy, education, or support.


A store where medicinal drugs are dispensed and sold. Some pharmacies, known as Compounding Pharmacies, will create personal medications for patients (called compounded medications). Compounded medications are based on a practitioners prescription in which individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient.

Relocation Managers

Relocation Managers provide assistance with relocation issues and transitions impacting senior citizens. Commonly referred to as: Senior Move Manager.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) are licensed to provide custodial care, rehabilitative care (such as physical, occupational or speech therapy) or specialized care for Alzheimer’s patients. They may also offer social, recreational, and spiritual activities. Commonly referred to as: Nursing Home, Nursing Care, and Rehabilitation.

State Units on Aging

State Units on Aging (SUA) are located in every state and U.S. territory. SUAs are agencies of state and territorial governments designated by governors and state legislatures to administer, manage, design, and advocate for benefits, programs, and services for the elderly and their families. In many states they also have services for adults with physical disabilities. The term State Unit on Aging is a general term: the specific title and organization of the governmental unit will vary from state to state and may be called a Department, Office, Bureau, Commission, Council or Board for the elderly, seniors, aging, older adults and/or adults with physical disabilities. Regardless of the exact title, these state government agencies all share a common agenda of providing the opportunities and supports for older persons to live independent, meaningful, productive, dignified lives and maintain close family and community ties.

Title VI Agencies

Title VI (part A) of the Older Americans Act establishes grants for certain Native American-focused programs on aging. This program was established to meet the unique needs and circumstances of American Indian elders on Indian reservations.


Transportation services provide transit from one location to another. Transportation services vary in capacity and may be licensed for medical transport or can be as simple as a taxi cab service who caters to the elderly. Transportation services are typically private pay. Commonly referred to as: Medi-car, Medical Transportation, Wheelchair Transportation.