Senior Citizen Care and Services - Terms to Know

ABCFHILMNFRTVW

Alzheimer's Care

Assisted living residences specifically tailored and staffed for those persons needing specialized care relating to Alzheimer's Disease.

Annuity

An investment product which pays the investor a sum of money each year. This payment amount may be fixed or variable.

Assisted Living

Residences for people who can live independently, but need some help with certain tasks such as eating, bathing, lavatory, laundry, and medication.

Baby-Boomer

A cultural term used to describe someone who was born during the post-WWII baby boom.

Burial Insurance

Also known as Final Expense Coverage. A low-to-moderate value insurance designed to aid survivors with "final expenses" associated with a funeral, burial, etc.

Continuing Care

Often called Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), these facilities provide different levels of care for seniors and allow for transition from one type of care to another, without the need to move entirely to another community.

Final Expense

Also known as Burial Insurance. A low-to-moderate value insurance designed to aid survivors with "final expenses" associated with a funeral, burial, etc.

Fixed Annuity

A deferred annuity that grows by interest rate earnings alone.

Home Care

In-home care related to administering medications or tests or involving daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, exercise, physical therapy, and/or using the bathroom; even housekeeping and meal preparation.

Independent Living

Residences for seniors who are able to live alone, with no assistance. Independent Living (a.k.a. Retirement Community) provides a comfortable and safe lifestyle and atmosphere, and a sense of community. Many are open to people aged 50 and above.

Life Insurance

A contract between the policy owner and an insurer. The insurer agrees to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the insured individual's death. The policy owner agrees to pay a stipulated amount at regular intervals or in lump sums.

Medicare

A government-sponsored and -funded medical plan, especially for older citizens, aged 65 and older who meet other criteria.

Medicare Advantage

Also called "MA Plans" and "Medicare Part C," it provides all your existing Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) and can include Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage).

Medicare Part D

A federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. Part D went into effect on January 1, 2006.

Medicare Supplement

Also known as "Medigap," sold by private insurance companies to supplement Medicare Plan coverage and help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare Plan doesn't. "Fills in the gaps" in coverage.

Medigap

Also known as "Medicare Supplement," sold by private insurance companies to supplement Medicare Plan coverage and help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare Plan doesn't. "Fills in the gaps" in coverage.

Nursing Home

Also known as a Skilled Nursing Unit (SNU), or convalescent home, Nursing Homes are a place for seniors (or others) who need constant nursing care and would not be able to live in other facilities without such services such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, and a wide array of physical and/or mental therapies.

Prescription Drug Plan

A federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. Also referred to as Medicare Part D. Went into effect on January 1, 2006.

Respite Care

Home care that is a short-term or temporary "respite" or break for the primary caregiver of a senior (or child) who needs constant care. Respite Care can be very beneficial and necessary not only for the caregiver, but often for the senior who receives the care as a welcome change of routine.

Retirement Community

An independent living option, often with excellent amenities, convenience and sense of community. Important factors to look for are quality or life, activities, outings, and of course, safety.

Retirement Home

Residences for seniors who are able to live alone with no assistance. Also known as Independent Living, retirement homes provide a comfortable and safe lifestyle and atmosphere, and a sense of community. Many are open to people aged 50 and above.

Term Life

One of the most flexible types of life insurance. Once secured, it covers you for a predetermined period of time - or term - and expires.

Variable Annuity

A deferred annuity whose value fluctuates with the value of the stock or bond funds it's associated with, and for which the account value is not guaranteed to stay above the initial amount invested.

Whole Life

A life insurance policy that remains in force for the insured's entire (whole) life and requires (in most cases) premiums to be paid every year into the policy.