November 16, 2018

Terminology and resources for seniors and their caregivers

Criterion staff report

As an aid to seniors and parents of seniors seeking a retirement facility, The Criterion has compiled a list of facility-type definitions, as well as a list of agencies and websites related to locating and researching elder care homes, cost-saving tips, general information on aging, and more. The list is far from comprehensive, but can serve as a good starting point.

Retirement living types


  • Independent or Senior Living (also known as a retirement community, retirement home, senior apartments or senior housing): Dwellings within a complex that generally offers transportation, security and recreational activities, but no health care services or assistance with daily tasks.
  • Assisted Living: Residences that provide help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and housekeeping, plus recreational and social activities and basic health services, but not skilled nursing care.
  • Skilled Nursing Home/Facility (SNF): Residences with 24/7 care by licensed health professionals, meeting all medical, housekeeping and social needs.
  • Memory Care: Residences that provide 24/7 care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, meeting medical needs as well as needs unique to those with memory loss.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC): Residences that provide a continuum of care from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing and even memory care, designed to enable seniors progressively declining in health to remain in a single residential location, or to give healthy seniors the peace of mind that all their future needs are covered.

Sites with reviews of retirement facilities:

Area Agencies for the Aging

These organizations provide guidance to those age 60 and older regarding elder abuse, caregiver support, insurance counseling, transportation and more. Below are the agencies within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis:

  • Public Service Area 7 (Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties): Area 7 Agency on Aging and Disabled West Central Indiana,, 812-238-1561
  • Public Service Area 8 (Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan and Hendricks counties): CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions,, 317-254-5465
  • Public Service Area 9 (includes Wayne County), LifeStream Services, Inc.,, 765-759-1121 or 800-589-1121
  • Public Service Area 10 (Monroe and Owen counties): Area 10 Agency on Aging,, 812-876-3383
  • Public Service Area 11 (Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson and Jennings counties): Thrive Alliance,, 812-372-6918
  • Public Service Area 12 (covers Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties): LifeTime Resources, Inc.,, 812-432-5215
  • Public Service Area 14 (Clark, Floyd, Harrison and Scott counties): LifeSpan Resources, Inc.,, 812-948-8330
  • Public Service Area 15 (Crawford, Lawrence, Orange and Washington counties): Hoosier Uplands/Area 15 Agency on Aging,, 812-849-4457
  • Public Service Area 16 (includes Perry and Spencer counties): SWIRCA and More,, 812-464-7800 or 800-253-2188

General information and assistance resources:

Related story: Four residences in Archdiocese of Indianapolis base their care of seniors on Catholic values

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