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Assisted Living

These communities provide a way for older adults to live independently in a residential atmosphere with some assistance and support. While the types and sizes of facilities vary, all provide meals in a social setting and are staffed with people who can provide different levels of help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Residential Care Home

These are homes that are residential care facilities for the elderly and usually care for up to six residents. These are licensed by Community Care Licensing, a sub agency of the California Department of Social Services. These communities can offer assistance with daily living such as bathing, incontinency care, medication management, and getting dressed. If a family is looking for a smaller assisted living type of environment, a residential care is a nice option while being financially attractive.

Michigan Assisted Living Placement Service 300x186 Senior Care DefinitionsIndependent/Retirement Living

Communities that are designed for older adults who can live without the assistance of others. These can either be a simple apartment or offer meals, housekeeping, and laundry services. There are also many communities in Michigan that offer both independent and assisted living on the same campus.

Nursing Home

These senior communities care for individuals who have needs that are beyond the scope of an assisted living community or board and care home. Nursing homes are considered health care facilities and thus can care for residents with complex and potentially serious medical problems such as IV therapy, wounds, or infections. Nursing homes also can provide rehabilitation on a short-term basis after a hospitalization for injury or illness and Medicare may cover these costs. In California, Medi-Cal may also cover the cost of a nursing home for individuals who do not have enough financial resources for residential care.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

“Life care” is also used to describe CCRC communities. Independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing are all found in this one community. An entrance fee in addition to monthly fees can be expected.

Home Care or Home Health Care

There are companion care companies that can assist in the home with such daily activities as housekeeping, cooking, laundry, errands, bathing, medication reminders, etc. There are also home health companies that can provide skilled nursing services in the home.

Hospice Care

Hospice is a special healthcare option for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. Hospice provides comfort care when curative treatment is no longer the patient’s choice. Care takes place in the patient’s home or a home-like setting such as a nursing home, board and care home, or assisted living community and serves patients of all ages. Emotional and spiritual support may also be utilized to help patients and their families cope with the dying process. Medicare may cover these costs.


The federal health insurance program for: people 65 years of age or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure with dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).


SSI is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter


Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction and leads to a gradually increasing restriction of daily activities. The most well-known type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia also experience changes in their personalities and behavioral problems, such as agitation, anxiety, delusions (believing in a reality that does not exist), and hallucinations (seeing things that do not exist).

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (pronounced AHLZ-hi-merz) is one of several disorders that cause the gradual loss of brain cells. The disease was first described in 1906 by German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer. It is the leading cause of dementia.

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