Glossary of Terms

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Activities of Daily Living include bathing, dressing,grooming, eating, walking, all the things we normally do throughout the day. Healthcare professionals use ADLs to measure the functional status of a person.
Adult Day Care A facility for the supervised care of older adults, providing activities such as meals and socialization one or more days a week during specified daytime hours.
Advance Health Care Directives A written document that allows a patient to give explicit instructions about medical treatment to be administered when the patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
Aging in Place Aging in place is a term that applies to seniors who want to stay in their homes as they grow older. Services are put in place to support this decision.
Ambulatory Able to walk about, not bedridden or immobile.
Assisted Living Housing for the elderly or disabled that provides nursing care, housekeeping, and prepared meals as needed.
Board and Care Homes Board and care facilities offer a home-like environment for small groups of elderly or disabled residents.
Concierge Doctor (or Practice) Concierge medicine is a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician in which the patient pays an annual fee or retainer. In exchange for the fee or retainer, doctors provide enhanced care.
Conservator A legal guardian and protector appointed by a judge to protect and manage the financial affairs and/or the person’s daily life due to physical or mental limitations or inability.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) A type of retirement community where a number of aging care needs, from assisted living, independent living and nursing home care, may all be met in a single residence.
Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) a person trained in basic nursing techniques and direct patient care who practices under the supervision of a registered nurse.
Congregate Housing Is similar to independent living except that it usually provides convenience or supportive services like meals, housekeeping, and transportation in addition to rental housing.
Continuum of Care Full spectrum of care available at Continuing Care Retirement Communities which may include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Care, Home Health, Home Care, and Home and Community Based Services.
Dementia A loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior.  Is is part of a disease process not a disease itself.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)  A written legal document that states resuscitation should not be attempted on a patient. This can also apply to the application of artificial life support.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Medical equipment that is reusable. Wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds are examples of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) which, in some cases, can be paid by Medicare with a doctor’s approval.
Guardian An individual designated by a court to be legally responsible for the care of another individual.
Geriatric Care Manager A person, usually a nurse or social worker, who assesses, organizes and monitors long-term care services for patients.
Home Health Care Provision of medical and nursing services in the individual’s home by a licensed provider.
Hospice Care Philosophy and approach to providing comfort and care at life’s end including medical, counseling, and social services. Most hospice care is furnished in-home, while specialized hospices or hospitals also provide this service.
Independent Senior Housing A senior housing property that in addition to an apartment, usually provides  supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation. Any care services are provided through an outside third party agency.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (iADLS) A term that describes daily tasks such as preparing meals, shopping, managing money, taking medication, and housekeeping.  Functional assessments measure people’s ability to independently master these tasks.
Life Care Community There are many names for  life care communities.  In California they fall under a category called Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). CCRCs  offer a variety of housing options, levels of care, refundable and non-refundable entrance fees and monthly costs vary depending on the type of CCRC.
Long Term Care Insurance An insurance policy that pays some or all costs of assisted living, nursing home care and home care if qualified under the policy.  Insurance coverages and capitations vary based on the policy.  Premiums are based on the age of the applicant and are projected to remain stable for the life of the policy.
MCI Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia. It involves problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than typical age-related changes.
Medicaid The Medicaid program in  California is called MediCal. It is a joint federal and state program that helps qualified  low-income individuals or families pay for the costs associated with long-term medical and custodial care.  There can be a share of cost depending on ability to qualify and pay.
Medicare A federal program that pays for certain health care expenses for people aged 65 or older. Enrolled individuals must pay deductibles and co-payments, but much of their medical costs are covered by the program. Medicare is divided into four parts. Part A covers hospital bills, Part B covers doctor bills,  Part C provides the option to choose from a package of health care plans, and Part D covers prescription plans.
Non-ambulatory The simplest definition means inability to walk however, clinicians use the term to describe a range of mobility challenges such being bed ridden or the need for assistive devices like walkers, canes, wheelchairs and electric carts.
Palliative Care Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing people relief from the symptoms of a serious illness. The goal moves away from a cure to comfort care to improve quality of life for both the person with the illness and the family.

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