Glossary of Terms Used in Senior Housing

Active Adult
Living for those 55 or older that houses people in their own homes or units with complete cooking facilities. These communities usually offer a great deal of recreational and educational and fitness programs.

Continuing Care Retirement Community. A residential care for the elderly that offers long-term care consisting of Active Adult, Independent Living, Assisted Care and Skilled Nursing.

Independent Living
Living for those 55 or over that houses people in units, often with only minimal cooking facilities and offers communal meals. It does not offer any sort of assisted care and is not staffed for emergencies or overnight duty.

Residential Care Facility for the Elderly. A residential home for senior 60 and over who require or prefer assistance with care and supervision. They are also known as Assisted Living Facilities, retirement homes and board and care homes.

Group Homes
There are a plethora of small Group Homes that are licensed to tend to the needs of Seniors.

Forms of Ownership

Cooperative Apartments
Almost exclusively at Rossmoor. These function quite like condominiums, but have some legal differences and are harder to finance and financially qualify for. To offset this, they can be MUCH less expensive to purchase. There are relatively high monthly Homeowners Association dues, but this comes with many more services than condos generally have.

These are similar to condos that most people are familiar with. The dues are lower, and so are the services. They can get very expensive to purchase, but they are easily financed.

Single Family Dwellings (in the senior community sense)
These are usually called PUD’s in that you own the home outright, but the land is owned jointly by the homeowners association. Dues vary depending on amenities. They usually have small lots (no yard duties!).

Many independent living and assisted care facilities are offered on a rental basis, including meals and housekeeping services.

Buy In Facilities
These are basically rental situations with a large buy-in. In some cases (especially if they were developed by a non-profit organizations), there are periods of time specified if you have to leave the facility, that your family receives back a portion of the buy-in amount.

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