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 quality. 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 Healthcare Organizations).
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) - Everyday activities such as bathing, grooming, eating, toileting, and dressing.
ADA (American with Disabilities Act) - A law passed by Congress in 1990, which established a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. The law requires equal access to public buildings and places of employment for people with disabilities. Subsequent amendments have extended the access requirement to telecommunications, information on the Internet, etc.
Administrator - Generally, a licensed professional who manages the day-to-day operation of a care facility such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Adult Day Care - Daily structured programs in a community setting with activities and health-related and rehabilitation services to elderly who are physically or emotionally disabled and need a protective environment. This care is provided for during the day, the individual returning home for the evening.
Alzheimer's - Degenerative age-related disease that impairs an individual's cognitive ability. Symptoms may include forgetfulness, wandering, and inability to recognize others. The disease is caused by neuron dysfunction and death in specific brain regions responsible for cognitive functions. Both genetic and environmental factors likely play a role in the development of Alzheimer's.
Ambulatory - Describes ability to ambulate, walk around, not bedridden or hospitalized.
Assisted Living - In general, state-licensed program offered at a residential community with services that include meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication reminders, and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). The exact definition will vary from state to state, and a few states do not license assisted living facilities. Generally regarded as one to two steps below skilled nursing in level of care. Approximately 90 percent of the country's assisted living services are paid for with private funds, although some states 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).