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Decoding the Buzzwords in Senior Living

May 3, 2024
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We all know that every industry has its own set of jargon, and senior living is no exception. From “aging in place” to “person-centered care”, for those familiar with senior living, these phrases roll off our tongues as easily as asking for a cup of coffee. But for those who have had little to no exposure, we need to unravel some of these buzzwords, not with clinical precision, but with a healthy dollop of relatability.

“Aging in Place”

Imagine living in your cozy little home, surrounded by decades’ worth of memories, and staying put as you grow older. That’s exactly what this phrase means. It’s about allowing seniors to remain in their homes or communities as long as possible. It’s a beautiful sentiment but has become a catch-all phrase used a little too liberally. “Aging in Place” doesn’t always account for changing wants or needs.

“Assisted Living”

It seems straightforward, doesn’t it? It’s like having a friendly neighbor always on hand to help. But the term is so frequently used that it has lost its individuality. Many senior living communities boast of “assisted living,” but the level and nature of assistance can vary drastically. Keep in mind that it’s not one-size-fits-all.

“Person-Centered Care”

It’s about focusing on the individual needs of each resident, which is, of course, essential. Yet, this phrase is bandied about so often, we sometimes forget its significance. Personalized care isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a commitment.

“Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)”

This is one more phrase that’s overused, almost becoming a synonym for senior living. It refers to everyday tasks like eating, bathing, dressing, and so forth. Though it is important, it may be more easily understood by saying, “helping residents enjoy their everyday routines” or “ensuring everyone’s comfort with daily tasks”.

“Memory Care”

It’s a term that refers to specialized care for individuals with memory conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Behind this term are real people facing real challenges, deserving our empathy, not just our clinical terminology.

These words and phrases are not bad in themselves. They exist because they serve a purpose. But when they become catchphrases, they can sometimes obscure the real stories – of individual lives, of unique needs, and of personalized care.

As we talk about senior living, let’s bring the conversation back to people, not just phrases.

After all, it’s not just about “aging in place” or “person-centered care”, it’s about our grandparents, our parents, and us too.

Need some help unraveling the complexity of senior living? Let Claiborne Senior Living help you wade through the jargon, catch-phrases, and clichés to find solutions that work for you.