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Taboo Talking Points in Assisted Living

assisted living activities
As advocates for assisted living it is our responsibility to be consistent in philosophy and action.  Over the years assisted living professionals have touted the residential approach to care provision and the bedrock belief of choice and dignity in service delivery.  This mindset has served us well and established assisted living as the preferred choice of seniors seeking a combination of housing and services.

As assisted and senior living evolves to meet the needs of “gray tsunami “, often referred to as the baby boomer generation, we must continue to refine philosophy and discussion of our service venue.  In order to accomplish this task it is essential assisted living vocabulary reinforces choice, dignity and independence. The words we speak convey our philosophy and direct our actions.   With that being said I challenge all assisted and senior living professionals to eliminate certain words when referring to senior housing options.



Unit, Bed

Assisted Living Facility / Assisted Living Facilities

Long-term Care

Admission / Discharge




Room, Apartment, Suite

Assisted Living Community, Assisted Living Communities, Residence, House

Senior Living

Move-in / Move-out






Have a word or phrase that defines assisted living in your eyes? Please share your definition and knowledge on ALFA's Wiki Glossary of senior living terms.

WHAT is Assisted Living?
assisted living couple

The Assisted Living Federation of America defines assisted living as a long-term care option that combines housing, support services and health care, as needed. Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer's, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Residents are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in condition. The assessment is used to develop an Individualized Service Plan.

Learn more about Assisted Living.