Resources on Jewish Aging

AJAS members provide a wide variety of services to the community, including:


JCAHO Certified
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations evaluates and accredits nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people over the age of 65. For more information about Medicare, please visit

Medicaid is a federal and state-funded program of medical assistance to low-income individuals of all ages. There are income eligibility requirements for Medicaid. For more information about Medicaid, please visit the Medicaid website. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)


Independent Living
Independent living facilities offer rental units in which services are not included as part of the rent, although services may be available on site and may be purchased by residents for an additional fee. In most cases, residents are free to keep cars and come and go as they please.

Section 8
Through Section 8, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) offers housing choice vouchers allow very low-income families to choose and lease or purchase safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.

Section 202
Section 202 housing is a supportive housing program for the elderly, sponsored by HUD. Section 202 helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. It provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking, transportation, etc.

Subsidized Housing
HUD helps apartment owners offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. (source: HUD)

Supportive Housing
Housing that will allow homeless persons to live as independently as possible. It is provided to help homeless persons meet three goals: achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and/or incomes, and obtain greater self-determination. (source: HUD)

Multi-Care Services

Assisted Living
Assisted living is for individuals who need assistance every day, but not constant nursing care. This type of facility offers private rooms or apartments and bathrooms. Assisted living residences provide help to residents with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, taking medicine, cooking, shopping, housekeeping, laundry and getting around. All this is done while allowing residents to stay active and control their own lives.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) provide many different services for older adults in one place. Skilled nursing, assisted living and/or independent living are all available on the same campus giving residents the opportunity to “stay put” as their needs change. CCRCs offer a range of services: nursing and other health services; meals; housekeeping; transportation; emergency help; and personal care (help with dressing, bathing, etc.). The communities usually have a variety of social and educational activities on site. CCRCs offer residents a contract, or legal agreement, that says the CCRC will provide you with housing and services for life. Most CCRCs require a one-time entrance fee and then monthly payments. Fees vary by community.

Nursing Care Services

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Unit
Dementia is a term which describes a group of diseases (including Alzheimer’s disease) which are characterized by memory loss and other declines in mental functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible disease characterized by degeneration of the brain cells and serve loss of memory, causing the individual to become dysfunctional and dependent upon others for basic living needs. Some senior living facilities, like nursing homes, have special “units” that provide specifically to the needs of people with these ailments. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Emergency Response
Emergency response systems are electronic devices that allow individuals to contact a response center in the case of an emergency (like a fall).

Hospice/Hospice Care
A Hospice is a program that provides palliative and supportive care for terminally ill patients and their families. A number of AJAS member organizations offer hospice programs for residents and community members. Hospice Care services the terminally ill in their home, a hospital or long-term care facility. Many Hospice programs provide home health services, volunteer support, grief counseling and pain management.

Incontinence Assistance
Incontinence assistance programs offer assistance to people who have permanent and ongoing incontinence as a result of a neurological condition or severe intellectual impairment.

Intermediate Nursing Care
Occasional nursing and rehabilitative care ordered by a doctor and performed or supervised by skilled medical personnel. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Nursing Homes
A nursing home is a facility licensed by the state to offer residents personal care as well as skilled nursing care on a 24 hour a day basis. Nursing Homes provide nursing care, personal care, room and board, supervision, medication, therapies and rehabilitation. Rooms are often shared, and communal dining is common. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Palliative Care
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality-of-life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. (source: World Health Org.)

Rehabilitation Services
Rehabilitation services are designed to improve or restore a person’s functioning. Services can include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. These services can be provided at home or in long-term care facilities and are often covered by Medicare. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Skilled Nursing Care
Daily nursing and rehabilitative care that can be performed only by or under the supervision of skilled medical personnel. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Outpatient Services

24-Hour Assistance
24-hour nursing care given to patients recently released from the hospital.

Adult Day Care
Adult day cares are daytime community-based programs for functionally impaired adults that provides a variety of health, social, and related support services in a protective setting. Some programs offer evening or weekend care (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Care/Case Management
Care/case management offers a single point of entry to the aging services network. Care/case manager assess clients’ needs, create service plans, and coordinate and monitor services; they may operate privately or may be employed by social service agencies or public programs. Typically case managers are nurses or social workers. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Diagnostic Services
Services administered by medical personnel that may include X-rays, scans and blood tests.

Family Support Program
Many AJAS member organizations offer support groups for family members of loved ones in their facilities. Group structure will vary by facility.

Geriatric Assessment
A geriatric assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of an older person created to optimize their ability to enjoy good health, reduce their need for hospitalization or institutionalization and improve their overall quality of life. The outcome of a Geriatric Assessment is a care plan.

Home Health Care
Home health care includes a wide range of health-related services such as assistance with medications, wound care, intravenous (IV) therapy, and help with basic needs such as bathing, dressing, mobility, etc., which are delivered at a person’s home. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Outpatient Clinic
Outpatient clinics provide medical services that do not require admission into a hospital or other medical facility.

Personal Care
Personal care provides assistance to individuals with activities of daily living as well as self-administration of medication and preparing special diets. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Psychiatric Counseling
Psychiatric counseling addresses behavior and emotional needs of individuals by a trained professional.

Respite Care
Respite care is a service in which trained professionals or volunteers come into the home to provide short-term care (from a few hours to a few days) for an older person to allow caregivers some time away from their care-giving role. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Telephone Support
Telephone support programs provide regular telephone contact for elder persons who are homebound or live alone. These regular, pre-scheduled calls reduce isolation and provide a routine safety check. This service is usually provided by volunteers who are able to immediately identify the needs of an individual and notify those who can help.

(Also called escort services.) Provides transportation for older adults to services and appointments. May use bus, taxi, volunteer drivers or van services that can accommodate wheelchairs and persons with other special needs. (source: Dept. of Health & Human Services)


Congregate Meals
Congregate meal programs offer free or low-cost meals in a group setting, usually served at senior centers, schools or other social settings.

Meals on Wheels/Home-Delivered Meals
Home-Delivered Meals, often called “Meals on Wheels,” bring meals to the homes of those who can no longer prepare meals for themselves. Meals are delivered up to seven days a week, including holidays. The goal of both programs is to provide hot, nutritionally-balanced meals.

Additional Services

Many faith-based organizations, like AJAS members have clergy (Rabbis, Chaplains, etc.) on staff to guide residents spiritually by conducting regular prayer services, visiting with sick residents, and helping residents and families through the final stages of a loved one’s life.

An institution that conducts studies and operational research in addition to publishing papers on the subject.

Teaching Facility
A residency program that usually has a linkage with a university where students (nurses, doctors or administrators) intern.

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