Active Adult Community

Planned community of single-family homes, apartments or condominiums marketed to adults 55 years or older. Del Webb Sun City developments are the most well known.

Active Ageing

Individuals and populations who live as fully as possible within the dimensions of wellness.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Normal activities including bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, toileting and transferring from one place to another.

Adult Day Care

Centers offering daily social, recreational and health-related services to meet the needs of functionally and/or cognitively impaired senior adults. Often catering to fully functioning seniors in a social model.

Ageing in Place

A focus relating to additional services provided to elderly residents of a community who become functionally and chronologically older over time and will not have to move because of the availability of such services.

Assisted Living Residences

A residence that provides meals, housekeeping, transportation and individualized personal care and health services for normal activities of daily living, usually a rental model.


A person who takes care of an individual with physical or cognitive limitations. The designation also applies to unpaid family members.

Chronic Care

Care and treatment for individuals whose health problems are long term, provided in a rehabilitation facility or nursing home.

Community-based Services

Supportive services designed to help older people live independently in their own homes. Examples are senior centers, delivered meals or congregate meals in a seniors center, visiting nurses or home healthcare.

Congregate Meals

Meal programs providing free or low-cost nutritional meals in an easily accessible community location where older adults congregate. May also provide daily activities and social programs.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

An age-restricted, planned retirement community offering residences plus ensuring as-needed multiple levels of care (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care) housed in different areas of the same community. CCRCs often provide residential services (meals, housekeeping, laundry), social and recreational services, healthcare services, personal care and nursing care.

Continuum of Care

The spectrum of specialized health, rehabilitative and residential services.


The limitation of normal physical, mental or social activity of an individual. There are varying types (functional, occupational, learning), degrees (partial, total) and durations (temporary, permanent) of disability.

Elder Abuse

An intentional or negligent act that causes harm or serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.

Elder Care

Health-related services, such as rehabilitation, assisted living or skilled nursing, and personal care or social services provided at home and in residential care facilities.


The study of the prevention and management of diseases associated with the ageing process.


The study of the ageing processes from many disciplines, including anthropology, biology, history, sociology, psychology, political science and demography.

Healthy Ageing or Successful Ageing

A lifelong process of preserving and improving health and wellness, independence and quality of life.

Home and Community-based Services
Supportive services designed to help older people live independently in their own homes. Examples are, senior centers, transportation services, delivered meals or congregate meal sites, visiting nurses or home health aides.

Independent Living Communities

Age-restricted multi-family properties usually with central dining facilities, housekeeping, transportation, and social and recreational activities.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

Everyday tasks required for home management, such as shopping, cooking, housekeeping and financial management.

Life Expectancy

The average number of years people in a given population can expect to live.

Long Term Care (LTC)

A range of medical, nursing, custodial, social and community services required by a person with disabilities or chronic care needs. Services may be provided in a home or in residential facilities.

Memory Care

Many independent and assisted living communities include specialized memory support areas dedicated to caring for patients with dementia. Stand-alone communities dedicated to the care of individuals with memory loss are common. Services and amenities are on site, with group activities, events and wellness programs. Alzheimer’s, a degenerative age-related disease that impairs an individual’s cognitive ability exhibits symptoms that may include forgetfulness, wandering, and inability to recognize others.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs)

Communities in which at least 40 percent of the heads of households are older individuals. Usually occurs as people age in place.


The coordinated use of medical, social, educational and vocational measures for training or retraining individuals disabled by disease or injury to the highest possible level of functional ability.

Respite Care

Services that enable caregivers, such as family members, to have a respite, take a break, from caregiving responsibilities.

Senior Apartments

Rental properties usually restricted to adults 55 years or older.

Senior Centers

Community-based locations that serve as meal sites, screening clinics, and recreational centers, and provide social activities and services and educational opportunities for older adults.

Skilled Nursing Home or Long-term Care Facility

Residential facility with licensed nursing care 24/7 that provides a room, meals, help with activities of daily living, recreation and general nursing care to people who are chronically ill or unable to take care of their daily living needs.

Therapeutic Exercise

Exercises that are designed to help with rehabilitation from an injury or chronic condition, often determined by a physical or occupational therapist or a highly trained personal trainer.


A dynamic state of physical, mental and social well-being; a lifestyle that recognizes the importance of nutrition, physical fitness, stress reduction and self-responsibility.