ASCHA is pleased to release its latest report, Creating Common Terminology for Seniors Housing Options in Alberta. The report reflects over two years of engagement with Albertans, seniors-serving organizations, other stakeholder groups, seniors housing providers and subject matter experts in housing and seniors care.
Navigating seniors housing options is difficult, because there are many different terms and service levels out there. Not only is this an issue, mainstream communications tends to group all the options into one term - “seniors homes." This often puts seniors housing into the same box at long term care, when the two are very different, especially in terms of the programs, types of services and legislation governing the different environments.
Over 1,000 Albertans informed our initial report, Common Terminology Report: What We Heard 2018 where inconsistencies in terminology were identified, and gaps in understandings were addressed. Albertans, stakeholders, and the seniors housing sector as a whole called for easier-to-understand navigational terms.
Three navigational categories were proposed, informed through public consultation, and tested with various audiences. These categories are:
Seniors Housing – Accommodation Only
Seniors Housing with Service Options
Seniors Housing with Service Options and Health Supports
Nearly 600 Albertans responded to our survey, where we solicited feedback on these terms. Over 80% of respondents felt the terms were easier to understand, and could help in navigating options.
These three categories are not meant to replace technical terms, or legislated terms, but rather serve as an entrance point for seniors and families to have conversations about the type of housing they want or need.
We hope you will find the results of the report insightful, and that you will join us in adopting these navigational categories in your own communications about seniors housing.