Glossary of Terms

Acute Care

Active, short-term care for severe injury or illness, an urgent medical condition or surgery, usually taking place in a hospital

Acute Illness

An ailment or disease arising suddenly, of short duration, which may subside with medical intervention

Adaptive Equipment

Devices that aid people with the activities of daily living such as walking, bathing, eating, grooming and toileting

Adult Day Health

A day program of socialization and/or medical care located in the community, including door-to-door transportation, designed for adults living at home

Alzheimer's Care (also, Memory Care)

Physical, environmental, emotional and social support through the progressive stages of Alzheimer’s disease and similar forms of dementia

Assisted Living

Residences offering meals, housekeeping, recreation and more, for individuals needing limited assistance less than that provided at skilled nursing centers

Assistive Mobility Assessments

Evaluations measuring a person’s balance, ease of mobility, risk of falls and need for assistive devices


A branch of science studying hearing, balance and related disorders

Aural Rehabilitation

A multi-faceted approach to help adults adjust to their hearing loss

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Portable, electronic devices detecting life-threatening, abnormal heart rhythms, capable of restoring normal rhythm and designed for easy use by most individuals

Child Care

Nurturing and educating young children, typically provided from their infancy to six years of age in a group setting

Clinical Nutrition Coordinator

Licensed professional responsible for designing and conducting food service and nutritional programs promoting health and control of disease for people in residential settings

Clinical Services

Medical treatment and health services administered by qualified professionals

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A person trained and certified by state regulation to help patients or clients with their healthcare needs under the supervision of a licensed nurse

Cognitive Enhancement

Improvement in a person’s mental function, including attention, concentration, recognition and memory

Cognitive Loss

Difficulty with new learning, speed of information processing, memory, and language common later in life, unlike rapid deterioration from dementia, stroke or brain injury

Companion Apartments

An option that allows two individuals the opportunity to share an apartment for financial benefit and additional companionship

Complex Medical

Patients with complicated or multiple medical conditions requiring a highly specialized approach to care and treatment

Comprehensive Modalities

The combination of different therapeutic techniques used to enhance a person’s rehabilitation program

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A community providing levels from independent living through assisted living and skilled nursing, for adults 55+ and their partners to access care if and when needed

Continuum of Care

An integrated system that guides a person over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels of care, provided according to their individual needs

Culture Change

The movement toward more individualized services in long-term care centers focusing on the personal choices of residents (see also Home Within a Home)

Dual Language Learners (DLL)

People with the capacity to learn a second language while developing their primary language; especially, children in early education settings

Gait and Ambulation Training

Rehabilitation through exercises and assistive devices to regain strength for standing and walking safely


Services that help individuals acquire, maintain, or improve their skills and functioning for daily living; especially important for memory care

Home within a Home

Care for SALMON’s long-term residents in Beaumont Centers, with dining services, recreation and more provided according to individual choice, along with consistent staffing to help build close relationships

Hospice Care

Compassionate, respectful, end-of-life care giving physical, psychological and emotional comfort to terminally ill patients and support to their families; provided in any and all community and residential settings

Independent Living

Communities of private apartment homes and/or cottages designed for active, retirement-age adults with convenient on-site services, amenities and social opportunities available, chosen as desired

INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers)

Specific strategies followed by staff every day to identify, assess, document, communicate and respond rapidly to new health problems in long-term care residents, minimizing hospitalizations

Interdisciplinary Team

A group of health care professionals from different specialties working in coordination with each other toward a common goal for the patient

Intergenerational Programs

Programs organized to bring older adults and young children together for their mutual enjoyment and benefit through both spontaneous and planned activities

Intravenous and Parenteral Therapy

Nutrients, vitamins, minerals and/or medications given to patients directly to their bloodstream or muscles, for complete and rapid absorption

Level IV Rest Home

Residential centers licensed and regulated by the MA Department of Public Health providing 24 hours a day supervision, personal care assistance, medication administration and basic nursing services; beyond the scope of assisted living


A person who helps organizations or groups to work together and provide information to each other.

Long-Term Care

A variety of services, typically needed by older adults, to meet the medical and non-medical needs of people with chronic disease or disability who cannot care for themselves over an extended period

Long-Term Residential Care

Residential settings for people to receive the benefits of long-term care along with social and recreational opportunities

Marketing Director

Professional contact person for information regarding SALMON’s Whitney Place Assisted Living Residences in Natick, Northborough, Northbridge and Westborough

Memory Care (see also, Alzheimer’s Care)

Services provided to patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia incorporating social, environmental and health care considerations and accommodations

Memory Support

Exercises and strategies designed to enhance and extend the capabilities of people living with diminishing memory

Nursing Care

A wide variety of patient health services provided by licensed professionals, including following orders designated by physicians

Occupational Therapy

Specific exercises and strategies to recover the daily living and working skills of people with physical injuries or conditions, or to help older adults adapt to changes in their physical and mental abilities

Palliative Care

A specialized medical approach relieving the pain, symptoms, and stress for individuals suffering through a serious or chronic disease, regardless of diagnosis, to improve their quality of life; typically, a crucial component of hospice care

Personal Care Assistants (PCAs)

Specially trained staff assisting those who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, elderly or fragile with daily activities, housework, errands, transportation, meals, medication reminders and companionship

Personalized Exercise Program (PEP)

The Willows at Westborough and Worcester’s fitness plan customized for each resident's optimum health, accommodating their abilities and any limitations, developed by the fitness directors there; similar programs available at some Whitney Place locations

Physical Therapy

Health care from licensed professionals to restore or improve a person’s impairment and disability, to promote their mobility, ability to perform various functions and movement in general


Time period immediately after surgery has been performed


Early childhood education to acquire a wide variety of skills necessary prior to entering Kindergarten


Early childhood education for youngsters 3 to 5 years old

Priority Deposit

A 100% refundable amount paid toward a future Refundable Entrance Deposit for The Willows at Westborough or Worcester which also includes other benefits


In health care, a person or organization which helps identify, prevent or treat illness or disabilities


Activities focusing on the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of Resident life resulting in their enjoyment, amusement or pleasure

Refundable Entrance Deposit (R.E.D.)

The one-time fee due upon move-in to The Willows at Westborough or Worcester which typically remains at least 90% refundable to the resident (or their estate) after they leave The Willows

Registered Nurse

A professional who has graduated from a recognized nursing program and passed a national licensing examination providing health services and specific care ordered by physicians


A branch of medicine aiming to restore or enhance physical abilities, through treatment and exercise, to improve the quality of life for people with impairments or disabilities of their muscles and bones

Residency Agreement

The legal contract between individual residents and the management of The Willows or Whitney Place locations governing cost, rights, responsibilities, services, termination options and other matters

Respite Stay

A few days to a few weeks for people to “try out” assisted living or skilled nursing centers, or to receive services when their caregivers must be away

Restorative Care

Follow-up care and rehabilitation for achieving a patient’s best level of ability and function

Retirement Community

A housing-with-amenities situation designed for older adults who are generally able to care for themselves, with access typically limited by age to those 55+ or older

Right of Occupancy

An arrangement allowing access and physical possession of real property without legal right or title, which is more permanent than renting and requires less responsibility than owning the dwelling


Evaluations to determine a person’s level of physical and mental health

Self-Administered Medication Management (SAMM)

A system in MA assisted living residences where staff members’ roles in residents’ medication usage is limited to verbal reminders, verifying drug name and dosage, watching residents take drugs and documenting the residents’ actions

Senior Living

Residences designed for older adults, based on their health status, such as independent living, assisted living, rest home and skilled nursing centers

Sensory Integration

The way a person’s nervous systems receives information from their senses and turns it into appropriate physical and mental responses

Sensory Programs

Activity stimulating the hearing, vision, sense of smell, sense of taste and sense of touch, of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, to connect them with others and their environment

Short-Term Rehabilitation

Therapy, nursing and other supportive care for individuals following surgery, illness or accident, lasting from a few days to several weeks

Short-Term Respite Stay (see Respite Stay)

A residency in assisted living or skilled nursing lasting several days to several weeks for people to “try out” a living situation or to receive care and companionship while caregiver(s) attend to other matters

Skilled Nursing

Round-the-clock, long-term, custodial care, with assistance for personal hygiene, medications, mobility, incontinence, and more, most often for older adults in need of services beyond those of assisted living

Speech Language Therapy

Diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of communication and swallowing disorders, including memory issues, attention problems, and more, in addition to speech difficulties, provided by professionals

Studio Apartment

A living arrangement with kitchen, living room and bedroom areas all being part of one, large room


An interdisciplinary, highly skilled care level that addresses a patient’s complex medical condition after, or in place of, hospitalization

Support Groups

Sessions held in a setting of acceptance and confidentiality for sharing information, ideas, concerns and personal feelings about situations or problems all the people present have in common

Tapestry Program

SALMON’s multi-faceted approach to accommodate the unique and changing needs of people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, in both residential settings and day programs

The Health Center

A Level IV rest home located on The Willows at Worcester campus, offering short- or long-term stays in a warm environment with services beyond assisted living, staffed by personal care assistants and nurses

Therapeutic Recreation

Enjoyable activities for patients and clients offering physical and/or mental rehabilitation and beneficial stimulation

Toddler Program

Care and education for young children from 15 months to 2 years, 9 months of age

Transition Program (SALMON Center for Early Education at Natick)

A separate level of care and education designed for young children 1 year to 1 year, 6 months of age, between infant and toddler classrooms

VNA and Hospice

SALMON’s visiting nurse, physical, occupational and speech-language therapy services and more, as well as end-of-life care, for clients living in private homes in the community and in retirement communities, assisted living and skilled nursing centers