Now that the baby boomers are reaching retirement age, the country is seeing increased demand for services and healthcare provisions specific to that demographic. And with increased care options, comes new terminology that more accurately depicts today’s versatile care options.
The dictionary is constantly adding new words to accommodate an evolving society, whether it’s World Wide Web (WWW), “tweet”, cellular, “muggle” or blamestorming. But it’s not only the younger generation re-shaping the English language with funky nuances or tongue-tripping trends; the baby boomers have also contributed their fair share of new words to Merriam Webster’s book of spoken rules over the years.
The Evolution of Senior Living
From days past, words such as “boob tube”, “jive” and “chick” could be heard echoing down the school house hallways; but today other talking points have evolved into more appropriate terminology. Today’s senior housing and living terminology promotes not only dignity for America’s “silver tsunami” of aging baby boomers, but also represents how elderly care options have changed over the years.
Politically correct is just more tactful, after all. The terms “nursing homes” and “old folks homes” sometimes have a stigma of white-walled, smelly and institutional settings we’re scared to visit. However, this no longer represents the care options of today as independent and assisted living offer a plethora of appealing amenities, perks and socialization. From salons, golf courses, gardening programs, luxurious interior design and gourmet dining, baby boomers have, yet again, reinvented the proverbial wheel.
ALFA couldn’t have said it better: “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.”
So how have senior living terms changed? Get your vocabulary lesson below (And, yes, you will be tested!):
- Tour is now… Visit
- Patient is now… Resident
- Elderly is now… Elder
- Unit or Bed is now… Room, Suite or Apartment
- Assisted Living Facility/Facilities is now… Residence, House or Assisted Living Community/Communities
- Long-term Care is now… Senior Living
- Admission and Discharge are now… Move-In and Move-Out
- Senior Living Adds Comfort and Reassurance for Many (aplaceformom.com)
- Poll Results: Most Important Amenities In Senior Living Communities (aplaceformom.com)
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