Glossary of Terms

Independent Living
Independent living communities offer an independent lifestyle, geared to those aged 55+ & over. Housing varies widely, from apartment-style living to free standing homes. Typically these communities offer amenities, activities, and services. Often, recreational centers or clubhouse are available on site.  Typically these facilities are aimed at adults who need little or no assistance with activities of daily living, most do not offer medical care or nursing staff. Independent living with amenities such as meals, transportation and activities usually included in a monthly fee.

Adult Apartments
Apartment communities restricted by age, usually 55 and older. Rent may include community services such as recreational programs, transportation services, and meals served in a communal dining room.

Affordable Apartments
Rental communities offering reduced rates based on a percentage of household income. Other eligibility guidelines may also apply for certain communities such as age or disability requirements.

Retirement Community Apartments
Independent living with amenities such as meals, transportation and activities usually included in a monthly fee. Some communities may require an entrance fee or buy-in

Adult Community for Purchase
Housing units restricted by age. These properties are generally ADA accessible and may not require any ‘HOA’ fee.

Maintenance Free For Purchase
Housing units not restricted by age but often desirable given low, if any maintenance. These can be single family homes, duplexes, townhomes or condos.

Retirement Living for Purchase
Housing units restricted for those over 55+ or 62 years old. They can be single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes or condos. You buy the unit and can often decide to pay an additional monthly fee, which may cover services such as outside maintenance, clubhouses or recreation centers.

Adult Care
A family-type home for adults, a shelter for adults, a residence for adults or an adult home, which provides temporary or long-term residential care and services to adults who, though not requiring continual medical or nursing care as provided by facilities licensed

Assisted Living
A general term used to describe an assisted living residence (ALR) for seniors where assistance with activities of daily living is provided, as needed. There are many types of assisted living residences available from simple accommodations with private or shared rooms, to apartment-style residences. Most residences provide numerous amenities. In New York, all ALR’s provide or arranges for housing, 24-hour on-site monitoring, personal care (help with bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, and transferring, etc.), and/or home care services in a home-like setting. Assisted Living facilities do not provide 24 hour care.

The goal of an assisted living facility is to provide each resident with respectful care, and provide dignity, autonomy, independence and privacy in a comfortable residential setting.

New York law identifies three levels of Assisted Living licensure

  1. Basic Assisted Living Residence (ALR) – The characteristics and needs of residents in Basic ALR (admission and retention standards) are the same as those in Adult Homes or Enriched Housing Programs.
    Enriched Living/Assisted Living -The intent of Enriched Housing is to allow frail older residents (65+) who can no longer live independently on their own to successfully and safely age in place in a private apartment setting. Enriched Housing includes an individual apartment, meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, some supervision, assistance with medications, personal care assistance, case management services and structured activity programs
    Adult Home – offers long-term, supportive residential care for elderly people and non-elderly adults with disabilities. Adult Homes provide provides long-term residential care, including room, all meals and snacks, housekeeping, laundry, 24-hour supervision, medication and personal care assistance, case management services, and a structured activity program to people 18 years of age and older. Resident rooms may not have kitchens. Adult homes can also be licensed to provide memory care in an adult home setting to those residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Enhanced Assisted Living Residence/Assisted Living (EALR) – An Assisted Living Residence who provides an enhanced level of care for those who no longer meet the retention criteria for the Adult Home/Enriched Housing program/basic assisted living residence—particularly residents who have become physically frailer. Residents may need another person to assist them to walk, to transfer, to descend stairs, or to operate medical equipment. The provider must show evidence of having appropriate levels of service capacity, staff to provide an enhanced level of care; and, in some cases, allows the provider to use his/her own licensed or registered nurse staff to provide some nursing servicesSpecial Needs Assisted Living Residence (SNALR) – A licensed Assisted Living Residence provider to serve individuals who, due to Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia conditions, require a need for more specialized services, more intense supervision, and a safer, secure environment specifically designed to appropriately meet their evolving needs as their cognitive abilities decline.
  3. Special Needs Assisted Living Residence (SNALR) – An Assisted Living Residence licensed to serve individuals who, due to Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia conditions, require a need for more specialized services, more intense supervision, and a safer, secure environment specifically designed to appropriately meet their evolving needs as their cognitive abilities decline.

Nursing Home
Housing that offers the highest level of care for older adults outside of a hospital. While they do provide assistance in activities of daily living, they differ from other senior housing in that they also provide a high level of medical care. A licensed physician supervises each resident’s care and a nurse or other medical professional is almost always on the premises.

Memory Care
Communities offering specialized programs for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of memory loss. Memory care facilities allow a person experiencing memory loss to maintain a level of independence while relying on the safety and security of being in a residential facility with a professional staff

Adult Day Care
This is a non-residential facility that supports various programs which provide a range of geriatric day services, including social, nutrition, nursing, and rehab. The Adult Day Care program’s goal is to prevent or delay the need for placement by supporting the person and their caregivers.