Definitions & Terms


What is a Granny Flat?

Granny Flat is a term used to describe an accessory dwelling unit, which is a small living structure built on an existing residential property. The term “granny flat” was developed in Europe and Australia, where the concept is very popular.

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

According to the American Planning Association, an Accessory Dwelling Unit is:

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are small, self-contained living units that typically have their own kitchen, bedroom(s), and bathroom space. Often called granny flats, elder cottage housing opportunities (ECHO), mother-daughter residences, or secondary dwelling units, ADUs are apartments that can be located within the walls of an existing or newly constructed single-family home or can be an addition to an existing home. They can also be freestanding cottages on the same lot as the principal dwelling unit or a conversion of a garage or barn.

What is a Structurally Insulated Panel?

Structurally Insulated Panels are a building material made out of a piece of foam core that is housed between two pieces of plywood. Structurally Insulated Panels are extremely strong, weather-tight, and energy efficient.  These panels expedite the building process because they work in a snap and lock system that allows the granny flat structure to be completed in a matter of weeks.

What is a Zoning Ordinance? 

Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments in most developed countries.  Zoning ordinances vary by city or county.  Home Care Suites has done extensive research on zoning regulations in Tampa Bay, so if you call us (813) 200-8876, we’ll be happy to explain zoning regulations in your neighborhood.

What is a Senior Move Manager 

A Senior Move Manager assist families who want to downsize and relocate to a new residence or just need assistance with decluttering. A Senior Move Manager® can assist you and your family through what can often be both a physical and emotionally daunting task. Find a Senior Move Manager in your area via the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) website.

Move Managers We Work With: 

A Stress-Less Transition, LLC 

Senior Transition Services, LLC 

What is Long Term Care?

Long-term care (LTC) is a variety of services which help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people with a chronic illness or disability who cannot care for themselves for long periods of time.

What is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home (also called a convalescent home or skilled nursing facility) is a place of residence for people who require continual nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. Nursing aides and skilled nurses are usually available 24 hours a day.

What is an Assisted Living Facility?

Assisted living residences or assisted living facilities (ALFs) are housing facilities for people with disabilities. These facilities provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs); coordination of services by outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure their health, safety, and well-being.

What is a Home Companion Service?

A Home Companion Service provides in-home assistance and companionship to the elderly. For example, a home companion may spend time with an elderly person, helping them with groceries, daily chores, or even just pleasant conversation.  A companion can also be there to ensure the safety and well being of an elderly person.

What is Home Health Care?

A Home Health Care service provides in-home healthcare to the elderly. A home health care professional may help an elderly person with taking medications, bathing, cooking and cleaning, and any other daily living tasks that might be necessary.

What is Adult Day Care?

Adult Day Care Center, also commonly known as adult day services, is a non-residential facility that supports the health, nutritional, social support, and daily living needs of adults in professionally staffed, group settings.

What is Respite Care?

Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. Respite programs provide planned short-term and time-limited breaks for families and other unpaid care givers of children with a developmental delay and adults with an intellectual disability in order to support and maintain the primary care giving relationship. Respite also provides a positive experience for the person receiving care.[1] The term "short break" is used in some countries to describe respite care.

What is an Adult Family Home?

An Adult Family Home provides a smaller home setting for elderly people need full-time living assistance. Meals are family style, and there are daily activities, housekeeping, laundry, 24-hour supervision and assistance with daily living needs if needed.

What is Hospice/Palliative Care?

Hospice Palliative Care is an approach to care for people with a progressive life limiting illness, no matter how old they are. The focus of care is on achieving comfort and ensuring respect for the person nearing death and maximizing quality of life for the patient, family and loved ones.

What is a Geriatric Care Manager? 

A professional case manager, usually a licensed social worker, who assesses an elder's ability to live independently in a home environment, develops an appropriate care plan for services and equipment, and organizes needed home care services. This person may monitor and augment services on an ongoing basis, or troubleshoot as particular problems arise.

What is Family and Informal Caregiving?

Family and Informal Caregiving refers to the care/support provided by a family member, friend or neighbor for a person who has a physical or mental disability, is chronically ill or is frail.


(The following content about Medicaid and Medicare was provided by Lucy Wyndham) 

Medicaid and Medicare might share a very similar name, however, they are two different healthcare programs, which came about in the late
1960s with the primary objective to provide affordable healthcare to older citizens, as well as low-income families in the United States
of America.

The U.S. continues to strive to get a better grasp on the nation's healthcare system to this day, however, both Medicare and Medicaid
have remained an effective way to ease the healthcare-associated financial burdens for a great number of U.S. citizens. In Florida
alone, over 1,220,288 of the elderly population uses Medicare, according to the Florida Hospital Association. But the question that many still don't know the answer to is, what is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare [2]?


Essentially, Medicare is a federal program that was designed with the aim of providing financial support for people who have reached
the age of 65 and older, regardless of their income.

Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federal and state-run healthcare program that provides healthcare-related financial support to
low-income households. Both of these programs cover a broad spectrum of medical services, which include X-ray services [3], surgical
procedures, prescription pills, vision and dental care, as well as mental health care [4] among many others.


Financial coverage for assisted living by Medicare is in some cases
a possibility. Depending on the duration of one's stay and
healthcare services needed, Medicare might cover partial or full
costs. In the event that an elderly resident of Florida decides to
enter assisted living, they are advised to inquire at the Department
of Elder Affairs that provide guidance to older individuals, who may
be eligible for Medicaid or financial assistance through the
Medicaid Waiver programs.

In the scenario that an elderly Floridian is not eligible for Medicaid, they are encouraged to scout out alternatives, like the welcoming Home Care Suites [5], where they can enjoy their retirement.


Dual eligibility refers to the possibility of one receiving both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. When a person receives the benefits
of both programs, they work in tandem to provide the most efficient health coverage; i.e. in most cases, a person's healthcare costs
will be fully covered.

Both Medicaid and Medicare have been around for decades and still serve as a reliant option for many elderly U.S. citizens and
low-income families, who demonstrate the need for financial assistance. If you can't afford private health insurance, consider calling Florida's Medicaid or Medicare office to inquire about the application details.


For more information about Medicare and Medicaid please visit Caregiver Connection.  

Florida Resources

West Central Florida Area Agency of Aging

Department of Elder Affairs

Department of Children and Families

Elder Justice Center

Hillsborough County - Aging Resources

Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337).


Information for Caregivers

  • Caring For Your Parents   Help for families facing the practical and emotional challenges of caring for aging parents.
  • Be a Healthy Caregiver Certified Senior Advisor, Family Caregiver, Chris MacLellan, affectionately known as ‘The Bow Tie Guy’, brings his pragmatic approach to Caregiving through his weekly show 'Be A Healthy Caregiver' on Blog Talk Radio.
  • Senior Friendship Centers in Sarasota -  Senior Friendship Centers is a non-profit network of centers in Southwest Florida with services that meet the needs of people 50 and older, and extend into the community with volunteer opportunities for all ages.
  • Family Caregiver Alliance. Offers tips on a wide range of topics, including how to hire help, hold a family meeting, balance work and caregiving, find important papers, and decide whether parents should move in with an adult child.


Will it fit on your property?

Find out your local zoning ordinances with a site analysis from one of our experts.

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