Aging in place means securing the care and support needed to stay safe and grow old in your own home. The process focuses on improving and maintaining your quality of life while also planning for the future. Whether you’re receiving home care or looking for a CAPS professional, start here by learning some basic terms and phrases!
Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) – Anyone who completes and maintains CAPS training, awarded by the National Association of Homebuilders. A CAPS professional can assess personal needs and identify potential environmental changes to ensure continued health and safety at home. Learn more here.
CAPS Training – Courses offered by the National Association of Homebuilders to certify professionals. Coursework focuses on: marketing and communicating with clients, design concepts for livable homes, and business management. Learn more here.
Aging In Place Care Terms
Continuum of Care – Refers to the delivery of care over a period of time. For seniors and retirees, it’s the care they need during each stage of life.
Custodial Care – Non-medical or personal care.
Health Aide – A licensed medical professional that cares for a patient in their home
Home Care – (1)Any service that can be obtained and used in the comfort of your own residence. Home care can include a wide range of services and support. (2)Refers to non-medical care received in your residence.
Home Care Aide – A professional who provides in-home custodial care such as help with activities of daily living (ADL).
Home Health Care – In-home professional medical assistance such as physical therapy or skilled nursing.
Hospice – Medical support for those who are nearing the end of life.
Memory Care – Refers to medical or personal care specifically for those who have conditions that affect their memory, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Nursing Service – Healthcare provided by a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Occupational Therapy – A form of therapy that encourages “rehabilitation through the performance of activities required in daily life.” An occupational therapist can visit your home to teach exercises and rehab techniques that make ADLs and other activities easier.
Occupational Therapist – A healthcare professional who teaches exercises and rehab techniques that make ADLs and other activities easier.
Physical Therapy – A physical therapist provides rehabilitation services and treatments. At home, a PT can help you strengthen your muscles and increase mobility.
Physical Therapist – A healthcare professional who helps a person improve and manage injuries or physical disabilities caused by accident, injury, or illness.
Long-Term Care – Refers to the various medical and custodial services provided to anyone who is unable to perform basic activities of daily living or needs regular health monitoring.
Skilled Nurse – A licensed nurse that can provide skilled nursing care.
Aging In Place Support & Service Terms
Caregiver – Anyone who regularly looks after and provides assistance to a person who is sick, elderly, or disabled. In regard to senior home care, there are generally two main categories that caregivers fall into: family and professional.
Cleaning Service – Businesses that will perform general cleaning or organizing for a fee.
Meal Service – Ready-made, home-delivered meals or meal-prep assistance from a PCA or home care aide.
Personal Care Services – Professionals who provide in-home custodial care such as help with activities of daily living (ADL) like bathing, eating, and grooming. They will often assist with mobility, meal preparation, and even social and cognitive activities.
Companion – A broad term used to describe friendship, support, and assistance from either a service or a loved one.
Family Caregiver – A spouse, relative, friend, or neighbor who provides assistance and support for either a short-term or long-term.
PCA – Personal care assistant. A professional who provides non-medical care such as assisting with activities of daily living.
Professional Caregiver – A person whose career is based on providing assistance, care, or support. They can be nurses, physical therapists, personal care assistants, and many more.
Community Assistance For Aging In Place
Adult Day Care – Programs that provide care and companionship for seniors or adults with disabilities. Services will usually provide supervision, social activities, and meals. Learn more here.
Related: Adult Day Care: The Home Care Supplement You Didn’t Know Your Loved One Needs
Adult Day Health Care – Programs that provide care and companionship for seniors or adults with disabilities, plus, medical care.
Respite Care – Temporary care of a sick, elderly, or disabled person. Respite care exists to provide relief for usual caregivers. Learn more here.
Transportation Service – Community senior transportation services will take you to doctor visits, the pharmacy, and even the grocery store.
Other Terms To Know
National Aging In Place Council – “A senior support network that connects service providers with elderly homeowners, their families, and caretakers.”
National Council on Aging – The National Council on Aging advocates for seniors and their caregivers by working with local governments, businesses, and other non-profit organizations to provide community programs and services.
Universal Design – The design of a home, building, or product that can be used by anyone, regardless of their physical abilities.
Related: Top 5 Best National Resources For Seniors Who Live Independently