Finding Home Over 50 Glossary

AARP – A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives.

Accountant – A professional who assists with the measurement, disclosure, and/or provision of assurance about financial information.

Active Adult Communities – Communities geared predominantly towards older adults who still lead active lifestyles. Housing may include single-family homes, town homes, cluster homes, manufactured housing and multifamily housing. There are two types: age-restricted and age-targeted:

         • Age-Restricted Communities – At least 80 percent of the occupied units in these communities must include one or more persons aged 55 or over. Anyone under the age of 19 is restricted from being a permanent resident. Residents typically lead independent, active lifestyles in a setting where they can take advantage of amenities such as a clubhouse, a golf course, walking trails, hobby centers, computer labs, and other recreational spaces. These communities are usually not equipped to provide increased-care or health-related services. There is a monthly homeowner’s association or condominium fee, which normally includes outdoor maintenance.

         • Age-Targeted Communities – Similar to Age-Restricted Communities, these communities target residents 55 and older, but they are not explicitly age- restricted.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL or ADLs) – Term used in healthcare to refer to people’s daily self-care activities. There are two categories of ADLs:

        • Basic Activities of Daily Living (Basic ADL or ADLs) – Daily self-care activities that are necessary for fundamental functioning.

        • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL or IADLs) – Daily self-care activities that are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but that allow an individual to live independently in a community.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages or ARM
A mortgage loan on which the interest may reset at designated intervals of time (frequency of reset), based on movements in a pre-selected interest rate index and the margin over that index that the lender charges in each interval. The magnitude of rate resets are generally limited by periodic and lifetime caps and floors establishing the minimum and maxim rate that may be charged in each interval

Administration on Aging (AOA) – The principal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated to carry out the provisions of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA), as amended (42 U.S.C.A. § 3001 et seq.).

Aging in Place – A term used to describe a person living in their chosen residence for as long as they are able to do so as they age. This includes having in their home any services or other support they might need over time as their needs change.

Aging Network – State Units on Aging, and Area Agencies on Aging.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – A civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The form you’ll use when applying for a mortgage loan. It’s a questionnaire about your income, savings, assets, debt, containing information about the income, savings, assets, debts, and more about the borrower and co-borrower.

A written statement of a property’s current market value, as determined by a licensed appraiser.

Area Agency on Aging & Services (AAA) – A government agency created by 1973 amendments to the Older Americans Act (OAA), Area Agencies on Aging exist in each state. States divide themselves into AAA planning and service areas. Each area develops and implements local programs and services for older persons that fall into the following categories:

• Legal services;
• Nutrition, which includes both communal and home-delivered meals;
• In-home, which might include homemaker, chore, personal care or respite services;
• Disease prevention and health promotion services;
• Access, which generally includes transportation, information and assistance, advocacy, outreach, and coordination of services.

Many AAAs also administer the following optional programs:

• Ombudsman and elder rights services;
• Tax counseling.

In addition, AAAs are allowed flexibility in the development of other programs required to meet needs identified within their service area.

 Assisted Living – Housing for elderly or disabled residents that provides some help with daily living activities, such as nursing care, housekeeping, and prepared meals as needed.

Assisted Living Communities – Communities designed for seniors who are no longer able to live on their own safely, but do not require the high level of care provided in a nursing home.

Buying Agent
A real estate agent that represents a buyer. A representative guiding a buyer throughout the process of purchasing, negotiating, providing insight and advice exclusively for the buyer.

Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) – A person who has been trained and certified through the National Association of Home Builders to meet the individual needs of seniors wishing to age in place.

Cohousing Communities – Intentional, collaborative neighborhoods clustered around shared space. Each attached or single-family dwelling has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods and share common facilities and good connections with neighbors. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry and recreational spaces. Outdoor shared space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens. Neighbors share resources like tools, barbeques, and lawnmowers.

Congregate Care Facilities – A housing option between age-restricted independent living and assisted living facilities. In these facilities, each individual or couple has a private bedroom and living quarters but shares with other residents a common dining room, recreational room, or other facilities. Residents live independently, for the most part. This type of housing environment usually offers at least one communal meal per day, and it is common for services and activities to be offered to residents. Independent living, on the other hand, typically offers only living quarters and limited services. The main difference between congregate care and assisted living is that congregate care homes do not offer assistance with daily living activity services using in-house staff.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – A care facility that offers accommodations for at least three levels of care: independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing. Many now also offer Alzheimer’s and dementia care, also known as memory care. These services are offered on a single campus, providing residents with a continuum of care. You can spend the rest of your life in a CCRC, moving among levels of care as needed. These communities assure that each care recipient can enjoy independent living as long as possible, while providing for nursing assistance if, or when, it is needed.

Credit Report
A report from a credit bureau containing detailed information bearing on credit-worthiness, including the individual’s credit history, outstanding debts, and a credit score

Cohabitation Agreement
An agreement between two people who have chosen to live together as if they are married. This documentation protects there rights as a couple while protecting individual assets and investments.

Credit Report
A report from a credit bureau containing detailed information bearing on credit-worthiness, including the individual’s credit history.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)
A ratio calculated by adding up your mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and consumer debt (credit cards, car payment) and divided by your income.

Deductible (Income Taxes)
An expense that you are allowed to take as a deduction from income on your income tax return

Deductible (Insurance Policy)
The amount of money the insured person must pay before the insurance company will pay a claim.

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) – State government entities that oversee numerous types of health facilities, including hospitals, family planning centers, psychiatric hospitals, drug abuse treatment centers, primary care facilities, nursing homes, hospice care, assisted living facilities, and adult day care, as well as therapies and tests such as hemodialysis.

Elder Law Attorney – An attorney who specializes in legal issues that affect older people. The major categories of elder law are: 1) estate planning and administration, including wills, trusts, and tax issues; 2) Medicaid, Medicare, disability and other long-term care issues; and 3) guardianship, conservatorship, and commitment matters, including fiduciary administration.

Escrow for home purchase
Earnest money or a deed, bond or other document held by a third party as insurance toward the purchase of home. The moneys are released only when certain conditions are fulfilled.

Escrow for taxes and insurance
An agreement whereby the borrower adds a specified amount for taxes and hazard insurance to their regular monthly mortgage payment. The money goes into an escrow account out of which the lender pays the taxes and insurance when they come due. (Also known as Impounds)

Estate Planner – A professional who helps you to anticipate and arrange for the management and disposal of your estate during your life – and at and after your death – while minimizing gift, estate, generation-skipping transfer, and income tax. Estate planners help you to plan for incapacity. They also help you to reduce or eliminate uncertainties concerning the administration of a probate, designate guardians for minor children, and name beneficiaries in incapacity. Ultimately, the goal of estate planning is determined by your specific goals, and may be as simple or complex as your needs dictate.

Federal Housing Administration or FHA
A federal government agency established as part of the National Housing Act of 1934. The goals of this institution is to improve housing conditions and standards, help to stabilize the mortgage market and provide home financing through the insurance of mortgage loans. The organization sets for underwriting, insuring loans and setting construction standards.

A single numerical score, based on an individual’s credit history that measures the individual’s credit worthiness. Credit scores are as good as the algorithm used to derive them. The most widely used credit score is called FICO for Fair Isaac Co. which developed it.

Financial Planner – A professional who prepares plans for clients that cover cash flow and financial risk management, as well as planning for , insurance, tax, estate, business succession, and retirement needs.

Fixed Rate Mortgage
A mortgage loan on which the interest rate and monthly mortgage payment remain unchanged throughout the term of the loan.

The legal process by which a lender acquires possession of a property securing a mortgage loan when the borrower defaults.

Geriatric Care Manager – A person who can assess your basic living needs and assist you with managing your situation, including crisis management, in-home helper interviews, and placement in an assisted living facility or skilled nursing center.

Geriatric Social Workers – Experts at meeting the biological, psychological and social needs of older adults. Their primary goal is to address the specific challenges of the aging process by promoting independence, autonomy, and dignity in later life. They must be knowledgeable about unique legislation, policies and social programs that affect older adults. They must be adept at accessing resources for clients and strong advocates who champion their rights.

Gerontology – The comprehensive multidisciplinary study of aging and the problems of the aged.

Home Care – Personal or companion care that is provided by home care aides or caregivers. Home care aides provide “supportive” services, helping people to sustain and maintain their quality of life in their home as they start to lose functionality and mobility – keeping them safe and comfortable, and offering friendly companionship.

Home Inspection
Usually associated with the sale of a home. When a professional assesses the condition of a home. These inspections are noninvasive; they do not cause damage to the home.

Hazard Insurance
Insurance purchased by the borrower, and required by the lender, to protect the property against loss from fire and other hazards. Also known as “homeowner insurance.”

Hybrid ARM
An ARM on which the initial rate holds for an extended period, during which it is a fixed rate loan, after which the loan becomes adjustable rate and its rate periodically resets. Hybrid ARMs typically have an initial fixed rate period of 24, 36, or 60 months.

Independent Living Homes – Condos, townhouses and single-family homes that are smaller and more maintenance-free than large family properties.

Insurance Agent – A person who assists you with assessing your needs for medical, disability, life, liability, and other types of insurance and who will sell you insurance policies to protect against your risks.

Intentional Community – A planned residential community designed to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. Community members typically hold common social, political, religious, or spiritual visions, and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership.

Life List (Bucket List) – A list setting forth a number of experiences or achievements that you hope to have or accomplish during your lifetime. It is a list of dreams that you actively strive to make come true; it is a list of intentions, not simply wishes.

Manufactured Home – Manufactured homes are constructed in factories and then delivered to home sites. The homes must be at least 320 square feet in size (though most are larger) with a permanent chassis to assure the initial and continued transportability of the home. Manufactured homes may be single-section (entire home contained within one compartment) or multi-section (two or more sections are pieced together at the home site to comprise the whole). They are often referred to as single- wide, double-wide, or triple-wide, depending on the number of sections they have.

Interest Only Mortgage
A mortgage on which the monthly mortgage payment consists of interest only for a designated number of months. During those months, the loan principal balance remains unchanged.

Interest Rate
The rate the lender charges the borrower for the loan of money, by custom quoted on an annual basis. What the cost is to borrow money from a lender.

Joint Tenancy
When two or more owners hold a property together. The share of each holder passes to the others in the event of death. The property holders share equal rights and responsibilities.

Jumbo Loans
A loan that is too large to qualify to be a conforming loan. These loans generally have a higher interest rate as they are harder to sell on the secondary market.

Liquid Assets
Assets that are easily converted into cash with minimal impact. Generally, regarded as similar to cash because their prices are relatively stable. Examples of liquid assets are funds in your savings, checking and money market accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and of course, any cash you have stuffed in your mattress. Assets referred to as liquid because they can be transferred quickly, like water moving across a surface.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)
The number that represents the percentage of the home’s price that you’ll pay with the mortgage. You can usually borrow up to 90% of the purchase price of the home. For example, if the home is $250,000, 90% of the purchase price is $225,000.

Medicare – Federal health insurance for people 65 or older, people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services, as follows.

–  Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:

        • Inpatient care in hospitals
        • Skilled nursing facility care
        • Hospice care
        • Home healthcare

–  Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover:

        • Services from doctors and other health care providers
        • Outpatient care
        • Home healthcare
        • Durable medical equipment
        • Some preventive services

–  Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

        • A type of Medicare health plan run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
        • Includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B
        • Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan
        • May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost

–  Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage)

        • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
        • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
        • May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future.

A written document evidencing the lien on a property taken by a lender as security for the repayment of a loan. The term “mortgage” or “mortgage loan” is used loosely to refer both to the lien and the loan. In most cases, they are defined in two separate documents: a mortgage and a note.

Mortgage Lender
The party who disburses funds to the borrower at the closing table. The lender receives the note evidencing the borrower’s indebtedness and obligation to repay, and the mortgage which is the lien on the subject property.

Multigenerational household – A household including people from two or more generations.

Multiple Listing Service or MLS
A database shared by realtors that enables other realtors and more recently potential customers to view multiple homes. It allows for the sharing of information of multiple property listings and information about the properties. Realtors usually have unlimited information on the database.

NAPIS (National Aging Program Information System) – A computerized reporting system to be used nationally for tracking utilization of aging services within the AAA network.

National Association of Realtors
The largest of the real estate organizations with a membership of over one million. They have both state and local chapters. Members are automatically enrolled in both the state and national organizations when they join a local chapter. Members have access to the local MLS, which is an advantageous benefit. The NAR is one of the largest trade groups.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) – A community that was not originally built for seniors, but now is home to a significant proportion of older residents. NORCs are not planned communities; rather, they evolve as people age in place, older people immigrate into the community, and/or younger people emigrate out of the community.

Older American Act (OAA), as amended – The OAA promotes the well-being of older individuals by providing services and programs designed to help them live independently in their homes and communities. The Act also empowers the federal government to distribute funds to the states for supportive services for individuals over the age of 60.

Organizing Expert – A person who assists you with organizing, simplifying and downsizing. They often provide hands-on help to clear extreme clutter for the comfort and safety of seniors preparing to age in place or move and downsize.

The balance owed on a mortgage loan. The term is also used to describe the portion of the borrower’s monthly payment that is not interest because that portion pays down the principal owed on the loan.

Real Estate Agent
A licensed person who assists clients with the buying and selling of property. Persons educated in the laws and regulations pertaining to real estate.

Real Estate Attorney
A lawyer that specializes in the practice of real estate transaction law.

Real Estate Broker or Real Estate Salesperson (often called a real estate agent) – An intermediary between sellers and buyers of real estate/real property. The broker or salesperson owes a fiduciary duty to the party they service as a client.

A real estate professional who has decided to pledge a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. To maintain Realtor status they are required to join the National Association of Realtors.

Reverse Mortgage – A special type of home loan that lets borrowers convert a portion of the equity in their home into cash. Reverse mortgages are generally available only to borrowers who are at least 62 of age. Many older people use money borrowed under reverse mortgages to supplement retirement income, meet medical expenses, make home improvements, and for other purposes.

Reverse mortgage categories include:

        • Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) – FHA-insured reverse mortgages backed by the HUD. Loans must conform to federal HECM guidelines.
        • Proprietary – Uninsured loans backed by the lenders that develop them. They are jumbo loans (principal limits in excess of the $636,150 FHA limit for HECMs). They have a lower advance rate than HECMs. Programs differ among lenders.
        • Single purpose – Loans offered by some state and local government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations. Proceeds from these loans may be used only for program- designated purposes, such as to pay for home repairs, improvements, or property taxes. Low or moderate income persons may qualify for these loans.

Reverse mortgage disbursement plan types include:

       • Tenure – Borrower receives equal monthly payments as long as at least one borrower lives and continues to occupy the property as a principal residence.
        • Term – Borrower receives equal monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected; the payouts will be larger than under the “tenure” option.
        • Line of Credit – Borrower may draw down loan proceeds at times and in amounts of their choosing (subject to the first-year cap and the overall initial principal limit) until the line of credit is exhausted. This option limits the amount of interest imposed on the loan; interest accrues only on the credit being used.
        • Modified tenure – Borrower receives a combination of line of credit and
scheduled monthly payments for as long as they remain in the home.
        • Modified term – Borrower receives a combination of line of credit plus monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected by the borrower.
        • Fixed-rate, lump-sum –Borrower receives their entire loan proceeds upfront and pays a fixed interest rate.

Secondary Market
The secondary market is when your mortgage loan is sold to another institution that will then manage your loan. The biggest purchasers in the secondary market are Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Selling agent
The real estate agent representing the seller of the home or property.

Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) – A specially trained and certified REALTOR® or related professional who is experienced and knowledgeable in meeting the specific housing and equity needs of seniors. An SRES® will take a customized approach to fit your living situation into your overall life plan. They have an awareness of options and a network of solid, reliable referrals to help you in the process. They can offer you a variety of choices to help you reduce your out-of-pocket expense, gain cash, create or defer income streams, and either stay independent or obtain financial assistance.

Skilled Nursing Facility – A facility that provides the highest level of care for older adults outside of a hospital, including both assistance in daily living activities and medical care. A licensed physician supervises each resident’s care, and a nurse or other medical professional is almost always on premises. Other medical professionals available may include an occupational therapist and a physical therapist.

Special Needs Professionals or Organizations – Various types of professionals or organizations that cater to the needs of older adults.

The monetary obligation enforced by the government in order to support government activities.

Title Company
A company or institution that examines title for property to make sure that it is a legitimate document.

A real estate site that allows users to search for homes and properties. This site also provides information to assist in educating the buyer about various real estate topics.

A real estate site that allows users to search for homes and properties. This site also provides information to assist in educating the buyer about various real estate topics.


Medical Order Abbreviations


  • p.o.
  • IM
  • SC
  • IV
  • PR
  • h.s
  • ac
  • pc
  • q
  • q.d.
  • b.i.d.
  • t.i.d.
  • q.i.d.
  • q.o.d
  • Meaning

  • By mouth
  • Intramuscular injection
  • Subcutaneous injection
  • Intravenous
  • Per rectum
  • At hour of sleep (bedtime)
  • Before meals
  • After meals
  • Every, ie, q 8 h means every 8 hours
  • Every day
  • Twice/day
  • Three times/day
  • Four times/day
  • Every other day
  • Medical Administration Methods

    There are several different ways drugs can be administered. which are described in the table below.


  • Buccal
  • Enteral
  • Epidural
  • Inhalable
  • Infused
  • Interpeural
  • Intramuscular
  • Intrathecal
  • Intravenous
  • Nasal
  • Ophthalmic
  • Oral
  • Otic
  • Rectal
  • Subcutaneous
  • Sublingual
  • Topical
  • Transdermal
  • Vaginal
  • Explanation

  • Held inside the cheek
  • Delivered directly into the stomach or intestine (with a G-tube or J-tube)
  • Injected directly into the epidural space between the spine
  • Breathed in through a tube or mask
  • Injected into a vein with an IV line and slowly dripped in over time
  • Delivered through a catheter into the lung membrane
  • Injected into muscle with a syringe
  • Injected into your spine
  • Injected into a vein or into an IV line
  • Given into the nose by spray or pump
  • Given into the eye by drops, gel, or ointment
  • Swallowed by mouth as a tablet, capsule, lozenge, or liquid
  • Given by drops into the ear
  • Inserted into the rectum
  • Injected just under the skin
  • Held under the tongue
  • Applied to the skin
  • Given through a patch placed on the skin
  • Inserted into the vagina
  • The route used to give a drug depends on three main factors:

    1. The part of the body being treated
    2. The way the drug works within the body
    3. The formula of the drug

    For instance, some drugs are destroyed by stomach acid if they’re taken by mouth. So, they may have to be given by injection instead.