Senior Living Resources

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing a senior living community and we want to help you make the best decision! Our family resources can help answer your questions, offer peace of mind, and help you find where you or your loved one will feel right at home. While these tools and resources are a great start, the best way to find out if a senior community is a good fit for your family is to arrange for a tour.

What is Independent Living?

Independent living is an active-adult lifestyle. In an independent-living community, residents are capable of living without assistance (although the community can usually provide resources if certain services become necessary). Such communities typically provide meals and housekeeping as well as social and wellness activities.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is designed for senior adults who require some help with the activities of daily living to maintain their optimal level of independence. It’s an ideal option when skilled care isn’t required – such as a nursing home – but a bit of help is needed for functions such as bathing, dressing, grooming, taking medication, mobility and the like.

What is Memory Care?

Memory Care is a specialized environment, designed for helping those who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Activities and programs help maximize remaining cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and confusion, and increase peace of mind.

How will I know it’s time for my loved one to move into an assisted living community?

That’s a great question. You’ve probably had the opportunity to see your parents or other loved ones over a period of years. The aging process includes a natural slowing down, and you may see that certain day-to-day functions – such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and remembering to take medications – have become a challenge. At that point, you’ll find yourself questioning how viable it is for that person to live on his or her own, out of concern for their safety and well-being.

How can I help in the transition?

There are topics of conversation that can help you as you start a dialog that leads in that direction when the opportunities arise. Questions such as – Is your home still appropriate for your needs? Do you need help with household chores? Are you able to cook your favorite meals? Are you comfortable driving? Would you enjoy having transportation available at your door? Are you taking your medications correctly? These and similar questions can pave the way to consideration of a new – and better – lifestyle.

What’s the best way to get started in selecting a senior living community?

Many people will begin the process of seeking an appropriate retirement community by touring the community and talking with staff on behalf of their aging loved one. Then, having made the initial inquiries, they will draw their parents into the conversation.

Can I afford this? Financial considerations and how to deal with them:

Making the leap to senior living is a big decision, and we know that pricing is always a concern. We’re here to help.

Please ask how we can assist you with any financial considerations.

Are pets allowed?

Yes! Please ask about our pet policy and restrictions, as well as our pet care packages.

Can residents bring their own furniture?

Absolutely. Residents are welcome and encouraged to bring their own furniture, art, photos, etc., and to make their residence their home.

These questions are interesting, but don’t cover my specific question or concern. Any general advice?

Yes. Please think of us at Aviva Senior Living as a family resource. Give us a call. We will likely have excellent guidance, or have a pretty good idea on where to direct you to get your questions answered. In the meantime, the Family Resource section includes the leading online organizations and resources.

Age-restricted / active-adult communities

An age-restricted community is often called “active-adult living.” Typically, the minimum age for most active-adult communities is 55. Designed for active adults, these communities are lifestyle focused, offering activities and socialization opportunities, but no healthcare.

Assisted Living

Assisted-living communities typically provide services that allow the resident to maintain a degree of independence, while offering a helping hand with certain tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and taking medications.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

CCRCs are senior-living communities that provide a range of lifestyle options on one campus, from independent living, assisted living, to memory care, and, sometimes, skilled nursing. The purpose is to provide a continuum of care throughout one’s lifetime. These communities usually offer long-term contracts or written agreements, and a continuum of housing services and health care. Floor plans can range from individual cottages and duplexes to studio apartments.

Independent Living

Independent living is an active-adult lifestyle. In an independent-living community, residents are capable of living without assistance (although the community can usually provide resources if certain services become necessary). Such communities typically provide meals and housekeeping as well as social and wellness activities.

Long-term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance developed specifically to cover the cost of skilled nursing, assisted living, home health care and other long-term care services. These services are usually not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.


The federal health insurance program called Medicare is designed for people who are 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover specific services and care.


Financed by state and federal governments, Medicaid is the program of medical assistance designed for those unable to afford regular medical service—available to fund care in a skilled nursing setting.

Memory Care

A specialized type of elder care, memory care is tailored specifically for the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive disorders.

Rehabilitation Services

Services designed to help an individual recover from an injury, operation, stroke, or illness. These may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and memory care. In most cases, services are planned to help the patient return as closely as possible to pre-challenge levels. The services may be residential (inpatient), or outpatient, and may be short- or long-term, depending on the needs of the patient.

Retirement Community

“Retirement community” is a loosely applied term referring to any community dedicated to senior living. Encompassing many lifestyles, it can include rentals or for-sale communities. The term retirement simply implies “senior,” and is not restricted to retired people.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled-nursing care communities offer around-the-clock nursing care, provided or supervised by licensed medical personnel.

Many organizations dedicated to seniors and senior care offer useful information and details on their websites. We’ve assembled a collection of links so you’re just a click away from helpful resources.


AARP is a membership organization leading positive social change and delivering value to people age 50 and over through information, advocacy and service.

Administration on Aging

Administration on Aging provides home and community-based services to millions of older persons through the programs funded under the Older Americans Act.

Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Arthritis Foundation 

Arthritis Foundation provides members with specialist referrals, Arthritis Today magazine and updates on the newest research. offers support and guidance for family and professional caregivers through newsletters, online discussion, Today’s Caregiver magazine, chat rooms and more.

Caring Connections

Caring Connections is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life, supported by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


LeadingAge is focused on advocacy of effective services for seniors including home health, hospice, assisted living, continuing care and more.

Elder Law Answers

Elder Law Answers supports seniors, their families and their attorneys in legal issues surrounding aging.

Family Caregiver Alliance

Family Caregiver Alliance addresses the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. is the official benefits site of the US Government with information on over 1,000 benefit and assistance programs.

Hospice Foundation of America

Hospice Foundation of America exists to help those who cope personally or professionally with terminal illness, death, and the process of grief and bereavement.

International Council on Aging

International Council on Aging unifies organizations focused on older adults and provides education, information, resources, and tools.

National Council on Aging

National Council on Aging is a nonprofit organization with a national network of more than 14,000 organizations and leaders. explains U.S. Government Veterans Affairs benefits to assist eligible veterans and dependents with the expense of intermediate or skilled nursing care.