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Housing Terms and Definitions

Common terms used during placement considerations.

Assisted Living
Assisted living refers to that level of care where there is 24 hour oversight (someone on the premises full time), assistance with personal care, medication supervision, meals served family style, activities and transportation. Usually the facility which is referred to as "Assisted Living" is a larger building which can accommodate 20 to 40 or more persons. The Board and Care Home is assisted living type care, but is usually smaller, 2-8 persons, and is located in a private home in a residential neighborhood. Colorado homes with more than two beds must be licensed by the State. Requirements for licensure vary from state to state.

Board and Care
The same services as assisted living are offered, only at a smaller facility.

Hospice Unit
Here, a person will receive 24-hour skilled nursing care, as well as pain and symptom management, grief counseling and bereavement support.

Independent Living
Usually the elderly person has an apartment but shares some meals in a common dining room. Other support services can include activities, transportation, house cleaning and laundry.

Medicare Certified
Some agencies and facilities have met certain standards set forth by HCFA, The Health Care Financing Administration, so that services provided there can be paid for by Medicare insurance. Facilities usually have certified beds, so that if these beds are full, they would be unable to accept additional Medicare clients.

Medicaid Certified
Persons whose income falls below a certain level can be cared for by agencies and facilities who are Medicaid certified. These providers have met certain standards set forth by the State Health Department and have agreed to accept a lower payment than what the service may actually cost, but which is the amount set forth by the State.

Nursing Home
Services include 24-hour nursing care, transportation and social activities plus occupational, physical and rehabilitation therapy.

Rehabilitation Facility
Available is skilled nursing care with focus on rehabilitation and recuperation.

Secure Unit
The term used for the locked and closely supervised system of a facility specializing in the care of individuals who are apt to wander, become disoriented and lost is "secure unit." There is usually very adequate space to walk and exercise, and usually there is a courtyard or other securely fenced area outdoors. Special needs of persons who suffer from dementias of all types are provided for by specially trained and sensitive personnel.

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Katie Fahrenbruch
Northern Colorado Regional Director
Alzheimer's Association
415 Peterson Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Non-Profit Community Services

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