Care Library

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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I-J-K | L | M-N-O| P | Q | R | S | T | U-V | W-X-Y-Z

A Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Basic functioning tasks of everyday life that includes walking, dressing, bathing, eating, personal grooming and toileting.

Acute Care
The care provided for a medical condition from which a patient is expected to recover and resume “normal” lifestyle, even though it may not be the same as before onset of the condition.

Adult Day Services
Structured, comprehensive programs, including a variety of health, social, and related support services during any part of the day but for less than 24 hours, provided at local centers.

Advanced Directives
A variety of documents that express health care wishes, to include a Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney or Proxy, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, Medical Directives or other similar name.

Alzheimer’s disease
A progressive, degenerative form of dementia that affects brain functions, causing loss of short-term memory, the ability to reason, the ability to care for oneself and deterioration of language skills.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA or Triple A)
A non-profit agency designated by the state with the responsibility for planning and coordinating services for older persons within a specific geographical area (city, county, or multi-county district).

Assisted Living Facilities
Housing for those who may need help independently but do not need skilled nursing care. The level of assistance varies among facilities and may include help with bathing, dressing, meals, and housekeeping.

Assistive Equipment
A range of products and technology designed to help elders or people with disabilities lead more independent lives. Example include special telephones for people with hearing impairments, walking aids, levitated toilet seats, communication devices.

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B Bathing
An Activity of daily living-Washing oneself by sponge bath, taking a shower, or taking a bath in a tub. This activity includes the task of getting into or out of the tub or shower.

Board and Care Home-Residential Care Homes
A small to medium sized group of residence that provides residents with a private or share room, and meals and care can be provided by caregivers in the home.

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C Caregiver
Anyone who provides assistance to another person who is ill, disabled, or needs help with daily activities.

Catheter
A medical device used to control urinary incontinence using a receptacle bag.

Certified
A long-term care facility, home health agency, or hospice agency that meets the requirements imposed by Medicare and Medicaid is said to be certified. Being certified is not the same to being accredited.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
CNAs are trained and certified to help nurses by providing non-medical assistance to patients, such as help with eating, cleaning and dressing.

Chronic Illness or Condition.
As illness or other condition with one or more of the following characteristics: Permanency, Residual Disability, Requires Rehabilitation training, or requires a long period of supervision, Observation, or Care.  Typically, it is a disease or condition that lasts over a long period of time and cannot be cured; it is often associated with disability.

Cognitive Impairment
Deterioration of intellectual ability, such as disorientation as to people, places or time; impairment of short-term or long-term memory; and/or impairment of one’s ability to reason; that has progresses to the extent that a person requires substantial supervision by another person.

Community-Based Services
Services designed to help older people live independently in their own homes, such as adult day care and senior centers.

Companionship Services
A variety of services including home supervision, telephone reassurance, and friendly visitors.

Continence
Another activity or daily living – The ability to maintain control of bowel and bladders function.

Congregate Housing / Senior Retirement Communities
Also called senior apartments or senior retirement apartments. Resident live independently in their own units, but they share some meals in the central dining room and receive housekeeping services.

Conservator
A person appointed by a court to handle someone’s affairs when the person cannot handle them him or herself. A conservator usually handles only financial affairs.

Cueing
Directing or supervising the actions of someone with cognitive impairment. For example, showing them how to eat and remaining them which medication to take at the appropriate time.

Custodian Care
Help and supervision with ADLs, e.g., dressing, eating and person care but not medication services.

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D Dementia
Deterioration of cognitive ability usually characterized by memory loss, personality change, and impaired judgment. Common causes included Alzheimer’s and stroke.

Depression
This is one of the most undiagnosed condition among seniors. Symptoms include a persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood, loss of interest of pleasure in activities once enjoyed, and difficulty sleeping.

Discharge Planner
A professional who assist patients and their families in developing a plan of care for a patient following a hospital of nursing home stay. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances (DPA for finances) a document in which you appoint another person to make financial decisions on your behalf. The DPA either continues in effect once you become unable to manage your affairs of springs into effect at that time.

Dressing
The third activity of daily living – Putting on and taking off all items of clothing and any necessary braces, fasteners or artificial limbs.

Durable Medical Equipment
Medical equipment that is ordered by a doctor for use in the home. These items, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and hospital beds, must be reusable.

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E Eating
The fourth activity of daily living – Feeding oneself by getting food into the body from a receptacle (such as a plate, cup or table). It does not include preparation of meals.

Elder Care
A wide range of services provided at home, in the community and in residential care facilities, including assisted living facilities and nursing homes. It includes health-related services such as rehabilitative therapies, skilled nursing, and palliative care, as well as supervision and a wide range of supportive personal care and social services.

Elder Law Attorney
An attorney who specializes in the law pertaining to the rights and issues of older adults, such as estate planning, wills, health care decision-making, and financial issues.

Estate
All of a person’s assets and debts at the time of his or her death.

Estate Tax
A tax levied on a person’s estate after that person death. Executor-The person or institution appointed in a will, or by a count, to settle the estate of a deceased person.

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F Fiduciary
Someone, such a trustee or guardian, who holds the assets of another person, often with the legal authority and duty to make decisions regarding financial matters on behalf of the other party.

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G Geriatric Care Manager
A professional who performs an assessment of a person’s mental, physical, environmental, and financial conditions to create a care plan to assist in arranging housing, medical, social and other services.

Geriatrician
A physician who specializes in the care of the elderly, primary those who are frail and have complex and social problems.

Guardian
A person appointed by the court who is responsible for the care and management of another person who has been determined by the court to be no longer capable of making decisions for him/himself.

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H Health Care Power of Attorney (Health Care Proxy)
A special kind of durable power of attorney called a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPA) in which you appoint another person to make health care decisions should you become unable to do so.

Home and Community-Based Services
Long-term care service provided in the home or in the community setting, such as home delivered meals. Chores and personal care, home health care, and adult day centers.

Home-Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels)
Regular delivery of nutritious meals to homebound individuals and person unable to prepare food for themselves due to disability or illness.

Home Health Agency
Provides health-related services in the home such as nursing, occupational, speech, or physical therapy, social worker and/or personal care. This service is usually for patients recovering from an acute illness or chronic debilitating conditions.

Home Health Aide
An individual who helps with bathing, dressing, grooming, assistance with meals, and light housekeeping.

Homemaker Services
A service that provides assistance with general household activities such as meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, and shopping.

Hospice Care
Professionally coordinated support services, including pain and symptom management, social services, and emotional and spiritual for the terminally ill and their families. The care is provided at home or other settings.

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I-J-K Incontinence
The inability to control urination, bowel movement or both.

Instrumentals Activities of Daily Living (IADLS)
These are tasks that must be able to perform in order to live independently. Examples include grocery shopping, meal preparation, using the telephone, laundry, light housekeeping, bill paying and managing your medications.

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L Living Will (Health Care Directive)
A legal document that communicates a person’s wishes about lifesaving medical treatments should he or she be in terminal condition and not able to communicate their health care wishes.

Long –Term Care
A variety of services provided over an extended period of time to people who need to help to perform normal activities of daily living because of cognitive impairment of loss of muscular strength or control.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Policies that pay for care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, homes and community settings, depending on the policy

Long-Term Care Ombudsman
A person who investigates and resolves complaints on behalf of residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

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M-N-O Medicare
The national health insurance program for people age 65 and older, and for some younger persons with disabilities. Part A helps pay for care in hospital or nursing home, limited home health services, and hospice care. Medicare Part B helps pay for doctor’s services, outpatient hospital care, and medication administered as an outpatient, and other medical services.

Medicaid/Medical
The federal health care insurance program for low-income people. It is administered by the states, so eligibility and coverage differ from state to state.

Nursing Homes
A nursing facility that provides intermediate care-assistance with personal care and activities of daily living and/or skilled care-24 hour medical, nursing and rehab care.

Occupational Therapist
A rehabilitation professional who teaches people to compensate for functional limitations as a result of an injury, illness or disability by learning skills and techniques needed to perform activities of daily living and optimize independence.
 

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P Palliative Care
Professional coordinated services that focus on physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs of those with life-threatening illness and their families. It seeks to maintain highest level of comfort.

Paratransit Services
Specialized transportation, such as a wheelchair accessible van, for seniors and other people with disabilities. These services may offer transportation to senior centers, medical care, shopping malls, or specific appointments.

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
An electronic device used to call for help in an emergency, helpful for older adults living alone.

Physical Therapist
A rehabilitation professional who utilizes various therapies to help people maximize mobility, and restore strength and body movement after an illness or injury such as stroke, fall, back injury, etc.

Plan of Care
The written plan that describes the services and care you need for your health problem.

Power of Attorney
A written legal document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person to manage the principal’s financial affairs.

Power of Attorney for Health Care
A written legal document in which one person(the principal) appoints another person to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal in the event the principal becomes incapacitated(the document defines incapacitation)

Primary Care Physician
A doctor trained to give you basic care. Your primary care doctor is the one you see first for most health problems.

Primary Caregiver
The person, usually the spouse or adult child, who takes on the primary day-to-day responsibility of caring for the physical, psychological and social needs of another person.

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Q
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R Respite Care
A service that provides temporary relief for persons caring for someone who is ill, injured, or frail. Services can be provided in an adult day care center, the home of the person being care for, or other settings.

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S Senior Centers
Neighborhood or community center that offer a variety of activities designed for independent older adults, including recreational programs, social activities, health screening, and meals.

Skilled Care
Daily nursing and rehabilitative care that can be performed only by, or under the supervision of, skilled medical personnel. This care is usually needed 24 hours a day, must be ordered by a physician, and must follow a plan of care.

Skilled Nursing Care
Skilled care that must be given or supervised by Registered Nurses. Any service that could be safely done by an average non-medical person without the supervision of a Registered Nurse is not considered skilled care.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
A nursing facility that has been certified by Medicare, with the staff an equipment to give skilled nursing care and/or skilled rehabilitation services and other related health services.

Social Security
A social insurance program that provides monthly benefits to eligible workers (i.e., with the required number of quarters of work in social security covered-work) who are either disable or age 62 or over, as well as certain family members.

Speech Therapist
A rehabilitation professional who provides therapy to overcome speech and communication problems, such as speech difficulties following a stroke.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
Federally funded program to provide counseling to seniors regarding their insurance needs.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI provides a monthly benefit to people who are 65 years of age and older, disabled or blind, and who have limited income and resources.

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T Toileting
The fifth activity of daily living- Getting to and from the toilet, getting on and off the toilet and performing associated personal hygiene.

Transferring
The sixth activity of daily living- Moving into and out of a bed, chair or wheelchair.
 

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U-V
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W-X-Y-Z Will
A legal document that communicated how a person wishes his/her belongings, assets, and property to pass on after death.

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