Concordia Dictionary: A Guide to Retirement Living Terms

A digital graphic showing a Concordia Dictionary

Concordia makes retirement living easy, and it begins with information. In this dictionary, you’ll find a glossary of common terms used in senior living communities. We break down what they mean to you and the worry-free lifestyle offered at Concordia.

Retirement Organization

Continuing Care Retirement Community: A community that offers residents the ability to stay in the same place through different phases of the aging process. These communities provide a spectrum of senior care, also called a continuum of care. With this continuum residents don’t have to deal with the hassle of using separate providers. All of Concordia’s Retirement Living offerings are Continuing Care Retirement Communities, and have the resources to help seniors “age in place.”

Continuum of Care: This term is used to refer to the full spectrum of care available at Continuing Care Retirement Communities. A continuum of care allows residents to seek senior care under the same umbrella of their retirement living community. This provides both consistency and dependability. Depending on the retirement living location, Concordia’s continuum could include short-term rehabilitation, personal care, long-term nursing care, assisted living, inpatient hospice services, outpatient therapy, memory care and adult day services.

RELATED: What Makes a Retirement Living Community So Appealing

Accreditation: This marks that a senior living community has earned a seal of approval from an organization independent of a governing or regulatory body. This process usually involves meeting specific requirements and undergoing a rigorous review process. Concordia is a CARF-accredited Aging Services Network, which means we commit to quality improvement, focus on the unique needs of each person we serve and monitor the results of our services.

Nonprofit: A nonprofit organization qualifies for tax exemptions from the Internal Revenue Service based on its mission and purpose, typically involving a social cause and a public benefit. Other nonprofit organizations often include hospitals, universities, national charities and foundations.

In the last year, Concordia provided about $13 million in charitable care and awarded over $2 million in grants to domestic and international charitable organizations. We also have a Concordia Missions Committee which provides many opportunities for our team members to give back to their communities. Between these programs and the many other local initiatives that our team members, residents and patients take part in, there is always a mission-driven activity happening at Concordia.

Learn More

Click one of the buttons below to download our guide, where you’ll be able to see

some of these terms in context and to learn more about Concordia retirement living

Senior Living

Retirement living community: This refers to age-restricted multi-unit housing where older adults can live freely in apartments, cottages or villas. Retirement living residents also often have access to community amenities and activities, and they don’t have to worry about maintenance, upkeep or otherwise difficult living conditions.

Amenities: This is a term for convenient, useful or fun features of a retirement living building, complex or community. The types of amenities vary depending on location, but broadly speaking some Concordia locations have access to beauty salons, barber shops, club rooms, cafes, creative studios, computer centers, lounges, fitness centers, libraries and communal dining areas, among many others.

RELATED: A Few Questions to Ask Before Considering a Retirement Living Community

Utilities: Most people are used to paying multiple utility bills, but we simplify the process at Concordia, taking another worry from residents’ shoulders. Most of the utilities you can think of (heating, cooling, electric, basic cable, etc.) are built into the monthly fee, with some locations only having a separate phone or internet bill. 

Activities: Concordia has staff dedicated to offering fun and engaging events available to all the residents in their retirement living communities. These activities exceed expectations thanks to a great deal of creativity and craft. At Concordia, we’ve seen activities like lifelong learning classes; trips to local attractions; visits from local zoos and therapy animals; outdoor picnics; parties; and so much more. There’s always something going on at Concordia retirement living communities, and you can follow some of the interesting activities by checking out our Facebook page.

Put your new knowledge into practice further by reviewing our Retirement Living page, or to find a specific retirement living option near you, visit our locations page.


Founded in 1881, Concordia Lutheran Ministries is a faith-based, CARF-accredited Aging Services Network and recipient of the inaugural Pennsylvania Department of Aging Excellence in Quality Care Award. As one of the largest nonprofit senior care providers in the country, the organization serves 50,000 people annually through in-home care and inpatient locations in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and Tampa, Florida.

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