Family Resources

When families have concerns about aging adults living alone, at Élan Santa Monica we are here to help. Here you’ll find answers to common questions, definitions for confusing terms and helpful resources. But we truly hope you’ll Contact Us for one-on-one assistance anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions.

What exactly is an assisted living community?

Assisted living offers seniors an opportunity to remain independent while receiving assistance with activities of daily living. It is a great option when 24-hour skilled nursing and rehabilitative care, such as a nursing home environment, is not required, but just a little daily help is needed.

Activities of daily living include tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, walking, administration of medications and more. The staff at may also assist with housekeeping, shopping, laundry—whatever the resident needs to keep feeling independent as long as possible.

How is memory care different from assisted living?

Memory care communities are often licensed as assisted living communities, but the staff has undergone additional training to handle the needs of those who have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Programming designed specifically for those with dementia is also an important part of memory care, and should focus on promoting physical and emotional wellbeing, prolonging daily functioning and maintaining a sense of purpose, satisfaction, dignity and quality of life.

How can I help my parents transition to a supportive living community?

AARP suggests adult children can get the conversation started with aging parents by asking questions. You would not ask all these questions in one sitting, but use them as a guide for topics of conversation when the moment is right.

Here are a few examples: Is your home still appropriate for your needs? Do you need help with household chores? Can you cook your favorite meals? Do you feel comfortable driving? Would it be a great relief to have transportation available right at your door? Are your prescriptions current and are you taking your medications correctly? Have you seen the doctor lately? Do you get lonely, especially at mealtimes?

Can residents bring their pet?

Élan Santa Monica offers a specialized pet care package to offer assistance to residents who want to bring their pet to live with them. The care package includes feeding and giving water to the pet, taking care of the litter box for cats or walking the dog, playtime and routine grooming.

Can residents bring their own furniture?

Your parents or loved ones are welcome to bring furniture they cherish to make their apartment feel like home. To help you visualize the space, consider our Assisted Living Floor Plans—ranging in size from two-bedroom residences to a cozy alcove—or our Memory Care Floor Plans for your loved one.

Glossary of Terms

Scan for definitions to common terms.

Accreditation: A seal of approval given by a governing body to a housing and/or service provider. To become accredited, the community or provider must meet specific requirements set by the accreditation entity and is then generally required to undergo a thorough review process by a team of evaluators to ensure certain standards of quality.

Activities of Daily Living: Daily activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, assistance with medications and transfers along with other tasks.

Administrator: Generally, a licensed professional who manages the day-to-day operation of a care facility such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Assisted Living: Assisted living is a senior housing option for those who cannot live independently and need help with activities of daily living, including but not limited to bathing, dressing grooming, eating, housekeeping services and transfers.

Alzheimer’s Disease: A progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Ambulatory: Describes ability to walk around and move from place to place; not bedridden or hospitalized.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC): A community that offers several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care. These communities usually offer long-term contracts or written agreements between the resident and the community which offer a continuum of housing, services and health care system, usually all on one campus or site.

Dementia: The severe loss of intellectual functions, such as thinking, remembering and reasoning. Dementia is not a disease itself but a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may include changes in personality, mood and behavior. Dementia is irreversible when caused by disease or injury, but may be reversible when caused by drugs, alcohol, depression or hormone and vitamin imbalances.

Durable Power of Attorney: Designates any proficient adult(s) to see to an individual’s affairs should they become either mentally or physically incapacitated. It is imperative to keep good, clear records of such agreements and recommended that you have a lawyer draft any durable Power of Attorney.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): The HIPAA Privacy Rule is aimed at safeguarding the privacy of all residents through increased accountability in the areas of privacy and security. At Élan Santa Monica, we are committed to confidentiality and safeguarding our residents’ Protected Health Information (PHI). We provide residents and families with a written copy of our HIPPA policy.

Hospice Care: Approach to providing comfort and care at end of life rather than providing heroic lifesaving measures. Hospice care can include medical, counseling and social services. Most hospice care is in-home, while specialized hospices or hospitals also provide these services.

Living Will: A legal document that states the wishes of an individual who is no longer competent and able to make decisions on their own. Living wills address the use of life saving devices and procedures in the event of a terminal illness or injury.

Long-Term Care: Care given in the form of medical and support services to someone who has lost some or all of their capacity to function due to an illness or disability.

Long-Term Care Insurance: Insurance that pays for a succession of caregiving services for the elderly or chronically ill. This care may be provided in a community or in an individual’s home with a nurse or aide.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs are trained to administer technical nursing procedures as well as provide a range of health care services, such as administration of medication and changing of dressings. One year of post high school education and passage of a state licensing exam is required.

Managed Care: The partnership of insurance and a health care delivery system. The goal is to coordinate all health care services received to maximize benefits and minimize costs. Managed care plans use their own network of health care providers and a system of prior approval from a primary care doctor to achieve this goal. Providers include: specialists, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, therapists and home health care agencies.

Medicaid: A program of medical assistance designed for those unable to afford regular medical service and financed by the state and federal governments—available only in a skilled nursing setting.

Medicare: The federal health insurance program 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.

Medication Management / Medication Administration: Formalized procedure with a written set of rules for the management of self-administered medicine. A program may include management of the timing and dosage for residents in assisted living, and could include coordination with a resident’s personal physician.

Nursing Home (Skilled Nursing): State licensed facility that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. May be referred to as a Nursing Facility or Convalescent Home.

Palliative Care: An area of health care that focuses on providing pain relief and preventing chronic suffering for patients. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life in all areas of a patient’s life including physical, emotional, spiritual and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.

Registered Nurse (RN): A Registered Nurse is a nurse who has passed a state board examination and is licensed by a state agency to practice nursing. A minimum of two years of college is required in addition to passing the state exams. The RN plans for resident care by assessing resident needs, developing and monitoring care plans in conjunction with physicians, as well as executing highly technical, skilled nursing treatments.

Rehabilitation: Therapeutic care for persons requiring intensive physical, occupational or speech therapy.

Respite Care: Temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days. May be provided in-home or in a residential care setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home.


Financial Options

We know that you’re probably concerned about how to pay for care for your loved one. At Élan Santa Monica, we’re happy to meet with you to discuss financing options—from long-term care insurance and Medicare/Medicaid to private pay. Contact Us for a kind, confidential discussion.


Ageless Grace

Understanding the complexities of brain health and the methods by which those functions can be
improved is the basis for the Civitas Memory Care Program. We believe that a holistic approach to
slowing the progression of memory loss is key to the success of our mission.

That’s why we’re partnering with Ageless Grace, a cutting-edge program specifically designed to
improve cognitive functionality. Through a series of physical exercises based on natural and organic
movements, neuroplasticity is improved, and cognitive retention is enhanced.


Ageless Grace incorporates 21 exercise tools/routines into their brain health program. By summoning physical movements which respond to signaling sent by the brain, both body and mind functionality improve over time. These memory care tools address the following conditions, improving overall cognitive health and wellbeing:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Memory and Recall
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Kinesthetic Learning

Ageless Grace explores the ways in which we age—and addresses the whys of the process. It combines an intentional engagement of both the mind and body, which are inextricably connected. The Ageless Grace program addresses the five major functions of the brain:

  • Flexibility
  • Circulation
  • Upper Body and Abdominal Strength
  • Coordination
  • Cognitive Function
  • Kinesthetic Learning
  • Range of Motion
  • Spinal Flexion
  • Right-Left Brain Coordination
  • Eye-Hand Coordination
  • Breath Support
  • Fall Prevention
  • Sense of Humor
  • Bone Density
  • Oxygenation of Cells
  • Inner Ear Fluid Stimulation
  • Nervous System Stimulation
  • Skin and Connective Tissue Health
  • Spinal Health and Flexibility
  • Emotional Expression
  • Cardiovascular Conditioning
  • Neural Response
  • Agility
  • Headache Relief
  • Alignment
  • Joint Stability

At Civitas Senior Living, we are dedicated to bringing you the best in resources, all of which contribute to the success of our program. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Ageless Grace in ensuring that our assisted living and memory care residents thrive.

**For more information on the Ageless Grace program, please visit**