What is senior living?

Senior living refers to any congregate living for older people and includes nursing homes, retirement homes, and assisted living.

What are the differences between nursing homes, retirement homes, and assisted living?

Nursing homes provide residential living for older adults needing help with medical care. Retirement communities are residences for older adults that provide care and services for seniors who can live independently with minimal to moderate support. Assisted living communities provide housing, housekeeping, meals, and some care to people who need help with some daily activities.

Who are the “baby boomers?”

Baby boomers are the demographic group of people born in the years following World War II, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate (approximately between 1946 and 1964). Baby boomers are now entering the typical age of retirement and will drastically increase the need for senior living services.

What is the hospitality model?

This approach to senior living is modeled after hotels and resorts, and is usually geared toward customer service and amenities.

What is “aging in place”?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

What is ageism?

Stereotyping, discrimination, and social prejudice based on a person’s age.

What is ableism?

Stereotyping, discrimination, and social prejudice against people living with different physical or cognitive abilities.

What is paternalism?

Acting “for the good” of another person without their will or consent.

What is the institutional model of care in senior living?

It’s a model of care in senior living settings similar to hospital care—efficient, sterile, clinical environments with regimented wake-up times, bedtimes, meal times, etc.

What is the person-directed approach to care in senior living?

It’s a senior living model of care and support in which the person receiving support and services exercises choice and self-determination in every aspect of daily life and has influence on the larger community in which he or she lives.

What is culture change?

In senior living, it is an organizational transformation moving from an institutional to a person-directed approach to care and support.

What are inclusive settings in senior living?

In an inclusive culture, everyone is honored, accepted, and included. This is in contrast to the traditional model of senior living where those living with different abilities and needs may be marginalized or segregated from the rest of the residents.

What is segregation in senior living?

Segregation in senior living refers to the physical and social separation of those needing different or higher levels of care and support (such as people living with dementia or those needed more care being separated from other residents).

What is “surplus safety”?

This term, coined by Drs. Bill Thomas and Judah Ronch, refers to the tendency to look only at the downside or negative risk of a situation when considering risk assessment. It leads to paternalistic limitations on a person’s choice or activities due to safety concerns.

What is autonomy?

Having choice, self-determination, and freedom.

What is adaptive work?

Work that requires a shift in values, beliefs, roles, and relationships. Adaptive work requires change throughout an entire organization and includes those who work closest to the problem or challenge.