Neighborly Senior Living

Care Level Definitions

If you are new to the world of senior care, you may be finding a number of new terms being tossed around.  We at Nazareth are pleased to provide you with this handy guide that removes some of the mystery from an important topic.

If there is a term we didn't list here, please let us know via our Contact Us form.

What is Independent Living?

When referring to retirement living communities, Independent Living describes a house or apartment home in an age-restricted community setting designed for seniors who are able to manage their homes and daily activities without supervision or medical assistance. Independent living can be offered as a senior apartment in a stand-alone building, or as part of a larger community with a wide range of services, including access to a continuum of health care should the resident ever have need to access those services in the future. Independent Living Apartment Homes are available at Nazareth Living Center.  The apartment home portion of the community is named The Village at Nazareth Independent Living.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living offers a middle ground between independent living and nursing care. Assisted living is a good choice for those who do not require the extensive medical care provided in nursing care but are not able to manage living on their own. Staff is available to provide 24-hour comprehensive assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing, grooming, eating, mobility and hygiene. A variety of activities and social events, as well as transportation, cleaning and laundry services, are also typical features of assisted living. Assisted living may be available as a stand-alone community or as part of a continuum of care.  For information on our Assisted Living program at the St Jospeh Manor, please see Assisted Living

What is Memory Care or Alzheimer’s Care?

Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific form of memory impairment, and Nazareth Living Center is pleased to offer special secured care for those with many types of memory impairing illnesses in its Oak Gate Community, which is a part of Gleason Hall Assisted Living. For information on our Memory Care program at the St Joseph Manor, please see Memory Care.

What do all of these terms mean?

  • Nursing Home Care
  • Skilled Nursing Care
  • Licensed Skilled Care
  • Skilled Rehabilitation
  • Long-Term Care
  • Intermediate Care
  • Custodial Care

Nursing Care is a broad term encompassing a number of more specific services, and is often provided in a Nursing Home licensed by the state that offers furnished rooms and health services to residents who require consistent and ongoing medical care with physician oversight, yet do not require hospitalization. There are different levels of nursing care, such as long-term care (custodial and intermediate), and skilled nursing and skilled rehabilitation. McGovern Commons, the Nazareth Living Center nursing home, is licensed for a level of service as high as skilled care and is Medicare-certified. 

Skilled Nursing Care as part of a skilled rehabilitation program is prescribed by a physician and may be performed by or under the supervision of technical personnel, such as a Registered Nurse (RN), a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a physical therapist. It is typically a temporary or short-term situation, and skilled rehabilitation is a service level eligible for Medicare participation under specific circumstances. Nazareth’s skilled rehabilitation rooms are in the Carondelet Hall section of McGovern Commons. For information on our skilled nursing care/skilled rehabilitation program, please see Skilled Nursing Care & Rehabilitation .

Long Term Care is comprised of two service levels and can be moderate to long-term in duration. Intermediate Nursing Care is less intensive than skilled care and is appropriate for individuals who do not need 24-hour attention. Custodial Nursing Care is appropriate once specific technical personnel are not needed for daily care but the individual is not likely to make further significant improvement. For information on our long-term care please see Long-Term Care .

What is a Community with a Continuum of Care?

A Community with a Continuum of Care allows seniors the ability to "age in place" by providing, in addition to an independent living residence, access to some or all of the health care services described above such as assisted living, various levels of nursing care, and rehabilitation, usually on the same property.  Residents of independent living have the opportunity (and often a priority position, as is the case at The Village at Nazareth) to apply for admission to the health care residences if their needs change in the future.  In addition, communities with a continuum typically provide independent living residents with a service package designed to provide a carefree lifestyle. Transportation, activities, interior and exterior maintenance, flexible dining services and utilities are just a few of the services available at many communities offering a continuum.

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