Acronyms Frequently Used in Assisted Living Communities

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 14 June 2011

The LTC (long-term care) world is full of acronyms, and those who work in the industry use them almost subconsciously, often leaving listeners to scratch their heads as they attempt to process the information they’ve just received.

Earlier this month, I deciphered a bit of the alphabet soup for our readers. If you missed it, click here.

Here are a few more terms, frequently used in assisted living facilities (also known as ALFs):

DON – A term used in nursing homes as well, the Director of Nursing oversees all the nursing/wellness staff at the assisted living community, which is generally comprised of team members like LPNs (licensed practical nurses), RNs (registered nurses), and CNAs (certified nurses’ aides).

SCU – If the assisted living home has a separate wing devoted to Alzheimer’s care/memory support services, it’s often referred to as the Special Care Unit.

DME – Many assisted living residents use Durable Medical Equipment, as prescribed by their primary care physician (i.e. oxygen tanks, wheelchairs, lifts, and hospital beds). Most DME suppliers come directly to the assisted living community to deliver/replace the items when necessary.

GCM – Before moving into the assisted living community, your family may have opted to work with a Geriatric Care Manager to make recommendations for care solutions/navigate the options available.


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