There is no favorite listings!

Retirement Communities Terms

Discover how senior living terms have changed over the years and refer to the glossary below for a definition of each term.


A seal of approval given by an autonomous governing body to a community or service provider. To become accredited, the community or provider must meet specific requirements set by the accreditation entity and is then generally required to undergo a thorough review process by a team of evaluators to ensure certain standards of quality. The accrediting organizations are independent, not government agencies or regulatory bodies. Some examples of accreditation bodies for the senior housing and care industry include:


This term refers to day-to-day activities such as bathing, eating, grooming, dressing, toileting, administering medication, moving around and many other self-care or maintenance tasks associated with daily living. Wikipedia: Activities of Daily Living


The AoA is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Administration educates the elderly and family members about benefits and services available to them. Resources:


Passed by Congress in 1980, this law establishes a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. Resources: Wikipedia: Americans with Disabilities Act


There are over 28,000 assisted living communities in the US alone. Assisted living is a housing option for seniors who cannot live independently and need help with medications and daily living activities, such as bathing, grooming, eating, dressing and going to the bathroom. Assisted living facilities are referred to as ALFs in the senior living industry.


Adult Day Services offer structured programs with stimulating social activities, health-related and rehabilitation services for seniors who are physically or emotionally disabled and need a protective environment during the day. Participants are usually brought to the center in the morning and leave in the evening. Resources: Find adult day care near you


A concept that advocates allowing a resident to choose to remain in his/her home regardless of the physical and/or mental decline that may occur with the aging process. Resources: | Wikipedia: Aging in Place


A progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.


The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s primary mission is to build the capacity of its members to help older persons and persons with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Find your local Area on Aging


Board and care homes typically provide seniors with the same services available in larger assisted living communities; the difference is that these facilities are “regular” houses in residential neighborhoods that are equipped, adapted and staffed to care for a small number of seniors. The term “board and care home” is most commonly used in California. In other states, these homes may go by other names including “residential care homes” or “group homes.” Resource: More about Board & Care Homes


65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged. The word “caregiver” refers to the primary person in charge of caring for an individual with special needs, usually associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This person is usually a family member or designated healthcare professional.


Congregate housing is similar to Independent Living, except that it usually offers supportive services such as meals, housekeeping and transportation.


A court-appointed, legal representative of a person no longer capable of taking care of their financial and legal responsibilities themselves.


Full spectrum of care available at Continuing Care Retirement Communities which may include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Care, Home Health, Home Care, and Home and Community Based Services. Also see Continuing Care Retirement Community.


A community that offers several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care. These communities usually offer long-term contracts or written agreements between the resident and the community which offer a continuum of housing, services and health care system, usually all on one campus or site.


A convalescent home is generally where a patient can recover from an illness or injury with short-term care and then return home.


The severe loss of intellectual functions, such as thinking, remembering and reasoning. Dementia is not a disease itself but a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may include changes in personality, mood and behavior. Dementia is irreversible when cause by disease or injury, but may be reversible when caused by drugs, alcohol, depression or hormone and vitamin imbalances.


Dementiaville is the world’s first and only village for dementia patients. Resource: Learning From Dementiaville, a Pioneering Dementia Care Village


Doll therapy is a form of Alzheimer’s therapy where patients can use dolls that symbolize people. Resources: Pros and Cons of Doll Therapy


Designates any proficient adult(s) to see to an individual’s affairs should they become either mentally or physically incapacitated. It is imperative to keep good, clear records of such agreements and recommended that you have a lawyer draft any durable power of attorney.


The Green House Project is a non-profit focusing on environmentally-friendly and sustainable assisted living hosing. Resource: Green House Project: The Next Big Thing in Long-Term Care


This act states the requirements that a long term care policy must follow in order that the premiums paid may be deducted as medical expenses and benefits not paid be considered as taxable income.


An organized system for providing comprehensive health care in a specific geographic area to a voluntarily enrolled group of members.


Provision of medical and nursing services from licensed providers and professionals in an individual’s own home.


Philosophy and approach to providing comfort and care at end of life rather than providing heroic lifesaving measures. Hospice care can include medical, counseling and social services. Most hospice care is in-home, while specialized hospices or hospitals also provide these services.


Independent living is when an elderly person still has the physical and mental capacity to live independently but wants companionship from others his/her age. Independent living offer specific services and amenities that cater to senior citizens and promote active, healthy senior lifestyles for the golden years. Independent living is not an option for someone who cannot care for him/herself.


Unlike Activities of Daily Living, which are necessary for fundamental functioning, IADLs are not necessary and are the activities that let an individual live independently in a community, such as transportation and paying bills. Wikipedia: Instrumental ADLS


A Continuing Care Retirement Community that offers an insurance type contract and provides all levels of care. It often includes payment for acute car and physician visits. Little or no change is made in monthly fees, regardless of the level of medical care required by the resident. The only fees that might change are the actual cost of living expenses.


A written, legal document that states the wishes of an individual regarding life saving devices and procedures in the event of a terminal illness or injury and is no longer competent and able to make decisions on their own.


Care given in the form of medical and support services to someone who has lost some or all of their capacity to function due to an illness or disability.


A U.S. state-appointed official tasked with ensuring an organization or facility remains accountable to the public who is outside of its typical chain of command. – Locate an Ombudsman in Your State | The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care


Insurance that pays for a succession of care giving services for the elderly or chronically ill. This care may be provided in a community or in an individual’s home with a nurse or aide.


Is the partnership of insurance and a health care delivery system. The goal is to coordinate all health care services received to maximize benefits and minimize costs. Managed care plans use their own network of health care providers and a system of prior approval from a primary care doctor to achieve this goal. Providers include: specialists, hospitals skilled nursing facilities, therapists and home health care agencies.


Public assistance funded by individual states in the U.S. for people who are unable to pay for health care. Medicaid can only be accessed when all other assets and funds are depleted. There are income eligibility criteria that must be met to qualify.


A U.S. federal health insurance program for people 65 years and older and those with disabilities.


A staff medical director assumes overall responsibility for the formulation and implementation of all policies related to medical care. The medical director also coordinates with an individual’s personal physician to ensure that the facility delivers the care that is prescribed. In some instances, the medical director may be a resident’s primary physician.


Formalized procedure with a written set of rules for the management of self-administered medicine. A program may include management of the timing and dosage for residents in assisted living, and could include coordination with a resident’s personal physician.


Private health insurance policies that supplement Medicare coverage, covering health care costs above those covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Does not provide benefits for long term care, covering primarily hospital and doctor bills.


This therapy for dementia involves creating lessons and activities specifically designed to engage the senses.


Status of ownership and/or operation characterized by government by community-based boards of trustees who are all volunteers. Board members donate their time and talents to ensure that a not-for-profit organization’s approach to caring for older people responds to local needs. Not-for-profit homes and services turn any surplus income back into improving or expanding services for their clients or residents. Not-for-profits sometimes interact with Congress and federal agencies to further causes that serve the elderly.


Provides personal care to residents, including bathing, dressing and toileting. Must be trained, tested and certified to provide care in nursing facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Nurse assistants typically work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse.


Facility licensed by the state that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. May be referred to as Nursing Facility or Convalescent Home. See also Skilled Nursing Facility.


A creative activity prescribed for its effect in promoting recovery or rehabilitation. This is done to help individuals relearn activities of daily living and is generally administered by a licensed therapist.


An area of health care that focuses on providing pain relief and preventing chronic suffering for patients. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life in all areas of a patient’s life including physical, emotional, spiritual and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.


The domains of the operational framework of person-centered assisted living include:

  • Person-centered core values of personhood, respect and dignity, autonomy, choice and independence, and privacy
  • Relationships and a sense of belonging (community)
  • Governance (ownership, board of directors)
  • Leadership
  • Workforce practices
  • Meaningful life and engagement
  • Services
  • Environment
  • Accountability


Purpose built communities are tailored to individual community needs. The model is run by a non-profit, Purpose Built Communities.


The treatment of disease or injury, by physical and mechanical means (as massage, regulated exercise, water, light, heat, and electricity.) Physical therapists plan and administer prescribed physical therapy treatment programs for residents to help restore their function and strength.


A Registered Nurse is a nurse who has both passed a state board examination and is licensed by a state agency to practice nursing. A minimum of two years of college is required in addition to passage of the state exams. The RN plans for resident care by assessing resident needs, developing and monitoring care plans in conjunction with physicians, as well as executing highly technical, skilled nursing treatments.


Therapeutic care for persons requiring intensive physical, occupational, or speech therapy.


Reminiscence therapy is defined by the American Psychological Association as “the use of life histories to improve psychological well-being. Wikipedia: Reminiscence therapy


Legal rights granted by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, which requires nursing homes to promote and protect the rights of each resident. Specific rights vary by state, but include dignity, medical privacy, and visitation rights.


Residential care homes offer personalized service to small groups of adults. These homes provide lodging, meal services and assistance with daily living activities. Other terms include adult family homes, board and care homes, or personal care homes. Resources: Find a residential care home near you


Temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days. May be provided in-home or in a residential care setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home.


The Sandwich generation refers to those who care for their aging parents while caring their own children. Wikipedia: Sandwich Generation


Senior apartments refer to age-restricted multi-unit housing with self-contained living units for older adults, usually aged 55+ who are able to care for themselves. Senior apartments do not offer additional services such as meals or transportation. Find Senior Apartments Near You


Senior Move Managers are professionals specializing in helping with the transition from a long-time home into senior living. Their membership organization is the National Association of Senior Move Managers.


Sensory integration therapy treats Sensory Integration Disorder (also called Sensory Processing Disorder), a condition when we our sensory inputs are not processed correctly.


These are senior communities that allow older adults to pursue higher education. Read more here.


Universal Design refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.


A supplemental income provided by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs available to veterans and their spouses. The veteran must have served at least one day during wartime. Resources: Guide to Using VA Benefits for Assisted Living |

Update: January 2018

Leave a comment

Transitioning Into Retirement

You’ve clocked out of your career and finally reached the stage where you’ve put the daily grind behind. But don’t assume that retired life will be a big proverbial bowl of cherries with days spent happily on the greens lowering your golf handicap or merrily sailing into technicolor sunsets on Golden Pond. Here are some tips for handling the reality of retirement.

The experts caution that’s a big mistake. Or worse, it can be a fatal one.

Consider Paul “Bear” Bryant, the University of Alabama’s former head football coach, who racked up an astonishing six national championships in 25 years. After he announced his retirement and coached his last game in a post-season bowl victory for the Crimson Tide, he was asked what he’d do for the rest of his life.

“I’ll probably croak in a week,” he famously said. In four weeks, he was dead. He was 69.

Bryant, an icon in the annals of college sports, is just one of many accomplished and successful people who didn’t live long after leaving the career and surrendering the position, title and salary that defined them, either to others or in their own estimation.

Leave a comment

Where to Retire in New Hampshire

April 20, 2020 Lynne Snierson

One view of retirement is as a layover for people on their way out of the world, but most retirees will tell you their lives have just begun. Here are the places where the best years are yet to be.

Maybe you didn’t get to spend your college years at Dartmouth, but now you can enjoy your golden years in Hanover.

Located in the beautiful Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire, Hanover made the cut for the country’s “12 Smart Places to Retire” list in the July 2019 Kiplinger’s “Retirement Report,” and Money Magazine rated the town the sixth best place to live in America in 2011. This vibrant, inclusive and intellectually stimulating Ivy League college town consistently ranks high on many of the aggregated lists of the best places for retirees.

Although a college community could be the best answer for some active seniors, especially those with a keen interest in igniting their imagination and engaging their minds through academic pursuit, others are still trying to put together the puzzle pieces when picturing which town or city would be the ideal spot for their meaningful third act.

Access to excellent medical care, outdoor and recreational activities, arts and cultural events, sporting events, volunteer opportunities, transportation plus walkability, safety, tax rates, housing costs and the overall cost of living should be carefully factored when coming up with the all-important quality of life quotient. Fortunately for natives and transplants alike, the Granite State offers many inclusive, wonderful and welcoming communities that check all the boxes.


Leave a comment

Why Retire to NH

The Granite State is the only state in the Northeast to break into the top 10 states for retirement.



3. New Hampshire

Score: 17

Retire in the Granite State, and you’ll enjoy low taxes, great health care, gorgeous natural surroundings, peace and quiet, and plenty of ways to get the most out of life.


How We Determined the Best Places to Retire

In making this list, SmartAsset considered a number of metrics. Taxes are important to everyone, but they take on a special importance when you are living off a fixed income or retirement savings. Thus, tax burden for retirees was one of the several factors considered. Healthcare also takes on a new import when you reach a certain age, so we considered the number of medical centers per 1,000 residents in each town. Recreation centers per 1,000 residents was also factored in, as was the number of retirement centers per 1,000 residents. Finally, we calculated the percentage of the population made up of seniors to see if other retirees favor the town. With that in mind, here are the best places to retire in New Hampshire.

############################## 9th best state to retire
The Granite State is the only state in the Northeast to break into the top 10 states for retirement.

When you think retirement, you probably don’t think about retiring to the Northeast. In that part of the U.S., winters can be cold, the cost of living can be steep, and taxes tend to be high. And yet, after analyzing all 50 states for retirement based on the financial factors most critical to retirees, New Hampshire managed to land a spot among the top 10 best states for retirees along with perennial warm-weather favorites such as Florida, Georgia and Hawaii. Read on to learn why the Granite State makes for an enticing retirement destination in the Northeast.

New Hampshire: #9 Best State for Retirement

Population: 1.3 million

Share of population 65+: 15.9% (U.S.: 14.5%)

Cost of living: 18% above U.S. average

Average income for 65+ households: $53,204 (U.S.: $53,799)

Average health care costs for a retired couple: $424,052 (U.S.: $423,523)

Tax rating for retirees: Most Tax Friendly

The Granite State’s current tax situation gives retirees a solid advantage. Ranking among the 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees, it doesn’t tax Social Security benefits or other retirement income or levy any sales tax. That savings helps balance out the above-average living costs and below-average household incomes. Another plus: New Hampshire ranks fifth in the U.S. for senior health, according to the United Health Foundation.

Learn more about how we ranked all 50 states for retirement including our methodology and data sources.


New Hampshire does not tax salaries or wages, but there is a 5% tax on dividends and interest. So while retirement income is not taxed at the state level, retirees with investment income may owe some taxes. Property taxes in New Hampshire are high, and there is no state sales tax.


Retiring In NH? Here’s What It Will Cost You

Yearly retirement costs range from as low as about $36,000 in some states to as high as $56,000. Here’s what it costs in New Hampshire.


Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire For 2020

We analyzed over 21 places in New Hampshire to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.




New Hampshire Senior Citizens Discounts

New Hampshire residents aged 65 and older

  • are admitted free of charge at all day-use parks.
  • receive $5 off nightly camping site fees except at Hampton, Ellacoya and Cannon RV parks.
  • are admitted free of charge Monday through Friday at the Cannon Aerial Tramway and daily at the Flume Gorge.

Proper ID (N.H. driver’s license or state-issued ID) is required. (Pursuant to RSA 218:5-c.)

Please note: Senior citizens will still need to pay the parking meters at New Hampshire State Parks.

Leave a comment
Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern