Adult Day Care

    Community based centers that provide care for adults with developmental and cognitive impairments. Centers often provide group activities, social stimulation and various forms of support including transportation.  Most also provide some type of meal program as well.

    Accelerated Death Benefit

    This is a benefit on a life insurance policy that allows the insured individual to access some of the policy's death benefit funds in order to pay for things like long term care or hospital stays.

    Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

    These are the activities that individuals undertake on a regular or daily basis.  Items considered ADLs are things such as dressing oneself, cooking, personal hygiene etc.

    Advanced Directives

    Legal documents which allow the signatory to define decisions regarding end-of-life care.  Advanced directives often include a living will, medical power of attorney and power of attorney. These elemens can be bundled or stand alone.

    Alzheimer's Care Facility

    This is a facility or part of a facility that specializes in th care for individuals with cognitive disorders or decline, particularly Alzheimer's Disease. Often these facilities provide specific brain stimulation activities such as music classes, puzzles and games. These units are typically "lock down" units where doors and windows are secured to prevent patient wandering.

    Ancillary Administration

    Probate proceedings for a deceased individual who owned real estate in a state other than their current legal residence.

    Assisted Living Facilities

    Long term housing options for elders that provide personal care such as meal preparation, transportation and personal hygiene.  Facilities may have living space as a single room or small apartments. This is typically a step below a nursing home facility.

    Advanced Cardiac Life Support

    ACLS refers to a specific set of clinical interventions for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke or other life threatening emergencies. Such interventions can include cardio pulmonary resucitation (CPR), intubation and defibrillation. 


    The ability to walk on ones own or with limited assistance. 


    Board and Care Home

    This is a small to medium sized group type home where either private or shared rooms are provided along wiht meals. While these residential facilities do provide some assistance with activites of daily living, they do not provide any type of skilled nursing.


    Continuing Care Retirement Community

    Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), offer multiple levels of care on one campus. Typically starting with independent living then moving to assisted living, nursing home care and hospice care. Some include memory care (Alzheimer's Care) as well.

    Convalecent Care / Home

    This type of care offers a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care while recovering from an illness, surgery or some temporary situation

    Congregate Care

    A congregate care facility combines private living quarters with centralized dining services, shared living spaces, and access to social and recreational activities

    Care Manager

    A health care professional who coordinates the assessment of needs and care services needed then assists in the development of a care plan.  They also may manage the execution and follow up of the care plan.  This individual is often a nurse or social worker.



    A "Certified Nursing Assistant" or CNA is a nursing professional that provides care such as basic needs, walking, sitting and standing, dressing, toileting, bathing etc.


    A written ammendment to a will.



    A conservator or conservatorship is a court appointed individual who takes care of an elders property an dbusiness affairs if an individual is not able to do so themselves.  This differs from a power of attrney in that the court not the individual makes the designation.

    Continuum of Care

    This is a system of elder housing facilities that work in tandem as residents needs increase due to age or ailment. The "continuum" often includes in-home care, adult day care, congregate housing, skilled nursing facilites and hospice or palliative care.



    An action taken by caregivers (either professional or non-professional) whereby the caregiver directs or supervises actions taken by patients with some type of cognitive impairment. Examples include medication reminders, visual cures for dressing, toileting or other activities of daily living.

    Custodial Care

    Sometimes also referred to as "personal care", this tpe of care assists individuals in executing non-medical activities of daily living such as dressing, eating or bathing. Most insruace plans, including Medicare do not cover (or pay for) this type of care.  Medicaid may cover some aspects of care but will pay very little.

    Categorically Needy Medicaid Program

    The term used for individuals who are eligible for all medical services under Medicaid on the basis of 
    financial need.

    Charge Nurse

    This is a nurse (typically an LPN or RN) who manages a unit, supervising all aides and assistants, dispensing medication and providing and supervising patient care. 


    This is the trade name for a disposable pad that is soft on one side and waterproof on the other. Often placed under individuals who are incontinent or under draining areas of the body.


    Discharge Planner

    This is a social worker or healthcare professional who assists hospital patients and their families with transitions from a hospital stay to rehabilitation, skilled nursing, home health, the patient's home, long term care facilities, hospice care etc.


    The permanent and legal residence of an individual. Often this is indicated by where the individual pays state and local taxes or maintains their voter registration.

    Do Not Resuscitate Form

    Also known as a "no code" this is a legal order/form to indicate to emergency or hospital professionals to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or adbvanced cardiac life suport (ACLS).  A DNR does not affect any treatment other than that which would require intubation or CPR.

    Durable Medical Equipment (DMEs)

    These are items such as walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds etc. that are reusable. They are ordered by a physician for home use and are paid for under Medicare or Medicaid.


    A class of drugs used to help patients rid the body of excess fluids. 



    The individual named in a will or appointed by the court who is given the legal responsibility to take care of a deceased person's remaining financial obligations from disposting of property to paying bills and taxes.


    Fiduciary / Fiduciary Responsibility

    An individual (trustee or guardian) who holds the assests of another person, typically having legal authority and duty to make decisions on behalf of the other party.

    Functional Assessment

    This is an assessment done by a medical professional who works for a housing facilitiy to determine the needs of the patient and documen if those needs can be adequately met by the facility.



    Geriatric Care Managers

    A professional who provides assistance for elders and their families in finding resources or making decisions regarding care.  This individual may be a social worker, nurse, gerontologist counselor or other healthcare professional.


    An individual appointed by the court who is given charge for the legal care of another individual who has been deemed unable to care for themselves either physically, financially or both.


    Hospice Services

    Services that are designed to meet the physical, spiritual and social needs of the terminally ill.  Hospice can be provided in a patients home or in a facility such as a dedicated hospice house, hospital or nursing facility. It is typically free to the patient and their family, paid for by Medicare or Medicaid. 

    Healthcare Agent

    The individual named in the medical durable power of attorney that is to make decisions for the patient if and when they can no longer do it for themselves. 

    Home Health

    This is a wide range of health services ranging from shopping, meal preparation, companion and home assistance to maintenance, housekeeping and yard work that can be provided in a patients home for an injury or prolonged illness. 


    Home Health Aides

    Individuals who provide non-medical care to people who are partially or completely homebound.  These individuals typically do not provide skilled or nursing care but can provide assistance with medication management, activities of daily living and other house hold tasks such as meal preparation and cleaning.  These individuals may be licensed depending on the state licensure requirements. 


    There are various types of housing or living facilities that provide special accomodation for elders.  Most have specific names such as "independent living", "skilled nursig" or "memory care". Generally houseing is considered the continual residence of an individual as defined as their legal domicile or the city or county where they are registered to vote.


    See Office of Housing and Urban Development.


    Intermediate Care

    A health care facility for individuals who are disabled, elderly, or non-acutely ill, usually providing less intensive care than that offered at a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

    Independent Living

    Any type of housing arrangement designed exclusively for those aged 55 and over. This can be in the form of a community of apartments, condos or stand along homes. The term also referrs to an elders ability to live alone with little or no aid.


    Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

    These are items that coincide with traditional activities of daily living that individuals must be able to perform in order to live independently. These are elements such as laundry, grocery shopping, medication management etc.

    Inter Vivos Trust

    Also called a "living trust", this is a trust which can be revoked that is created during an individual's life to hold assets during their life, thus removing those assets from probate at death.



    This is a legal term for when an individual dies without a legal will.


    Irrevocable Trust

    This is a type of trust that at the point of execution (typically upon signature) cannot be revoked or changed without the consent of the beneficiary.


    'IDT' is an acronym for 'inter-diciplinary team'.  This is a team typically used in hospice or palliative care that consists of a nurse or nurse practitioner, chaplin, social worker and possibly nutritionist or other care professional. The team works as a whole, sharing information for a single patient to provide complete care. 




        Long Term Care

        A facility that provides rehabilitative, restorative, and/or ongoing skilled nursing care to patients in need of activities of daily living. These facilities include nursing homes, rehab facilities, and long term chronic care hospitals. Care is provided by professional (skilled) health care providers such as CNAs, LPNs, RNs, Therapists and Physicians. This is also sometimes referred to as "skilled care".

        Licensed Health Care Practitioner

        An individual who is licensed by the state or other appropriate entity to provide health care services.

        Living Will

        A document an individual signs telling physicians to stop or not start life-sustaining treatments if they are in a terminal condition and cannot make decisions or are in a persistent vegetative state.

        Living Trust

        Also called an "Inter Vivos Trust", this is a trust which can be revoked that is created during an individual's life thus removing those assets from probate at death.

        Long Term Care Insurance

        An insurance product specifically designed to help pay for the long term care needs individuals may have.

        Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

        Licensed Practical Nurse, this nursing licensure level is above a Certified Nursing Asistant (CNA) and below a Registered Nurse (RN). LPNs work under the direction of a regisgered nurse by assisting them with care, recording patient blood pressure, weight, height, blood presure etc.



        This is a program that is funded on both the state and federal levels. It pays for healthcare benefits for low income individuals and families. Coverage varies by state.  Medicaid is a primary payer for nursing home care.


        This is a federal program that provides care to individuals 65 and older.  Benefits are for medical coverage only although they may include some nursing home or short term home health care if an individual is recovering from an acute illness.


        Medical Durable Power of Attorney

        A document an individual signs that names someone to make healthcare decision if and when they are not able to do so.


        Memory Care

        This form of care is specifically designed for individuals with degenerative neurologial diseases such as Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Care is oten provided in a secure assisted living or nursing home setting. Social and stimulation programs are designed specifically for individuals with memory impairment.



        Nursing Home

        This is a state regulated facility whereby an individual can receive skilled long term care or hospice.  Also referred to as a convalescent home, skilled nursing facility, care home, rest home or old folks home.  This type of facility often provides the highest level of care prior to residents needing acute or in patient hospital care.  They are often living styles which resemble hospitals with residents living space as a single or double room with shared living space.


        Nurse Practitioner

        A nurse practitioner or NP is a highly trained nurse who can manage acute and chronic medical conditions, can do full physical exams and order diagnostic tests and medical treatments.  NPs are qualified to perform advanced procedures and prescribe medications.  They differ from Physicians Assistants as they typically choose an area of specialty care.



        Office of Housing and Urban Development

        The Office of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) is an arm of teh Executive branch of the U.S. Government that develops, executes and monitors policies on housing and metropolitan development in the U.S.


        Personal Care Home

        A residential setting where personal assistance with most activities of daily living is provided.  This is another name for Assisted living but has different licensure distinctions in some states.

        Physician's Assistant (PA)

        PA's practice medicine on team with physicians, surgeons and other health care professionals.  They have the ability to examine, diagnose and treat patients. They differ from Nurse Practitioners as they are typically considered generalists and do not choose a speciality area of practice.

        PACE Programs

        PACE stands for Program of All inclusive Care for the Elderly. These are statewide programs that are medicare certified and coordinate healthcare, in-home services and day programs aimed to assist elders in continuing to live in their own homes and communities as long as possible.


        Palliative Care

        This is a form of medical care for individuals who have serious or terminal illness focusing on pain relief not necessarily curative options.


        Paratransit Services

        These services provide specialized transportation, such as wheelchair accesible vans for individuals with specialized needs. These services often offer transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores and other daily routine types of stops.


        Persistent Vegetative State (PVS)

        A condition whereby the patient is non-responsive to psychological and physical stimuli an displays no sign of higher brain function. The patient is often being kept alive only by medical intervention.

        Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)

        A PERS is a system in which an individual can contact emergency services 24 hours a day by pressing a button. These buttons can be in teh form of jewlery, a lanyard or a button somewhere in the home. They contact emergency response teams even if the individual cannot speak.

        Plan of Care

        This is a written document that details the services and care for a patient and their particular health issues.  Plans must be prepared or approved by a physician.


        Power of Attorney (POA)

        A document giving another individual the authority to act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters.


        The legal term by which the executor named in the will or the court-apointed administrator manages and distributes a decedent's property to any beneficiaries.


        Private Pay

        This is a form of payment whereby the patient does not utilize insurance but uses their own resources (personal funds or assets) to pay for the cost of care.


        Public Housing

        This type of housing was created to provide decent and safe rental housing for low-income families, elders and individuals with disabilities.


        Qualified Long Term Care Services

        These services are defined by the federal government. they are health services which are required for chronically ill individuals and are part of a plan of care created and approved by a licensed health care practitioner.



        Rest Home

        A residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with daily living activities, such as elderly and younger adults with physical disabilities. This is can be another term for Nursing home or Skilled Care.

        Retirement Homes & Communities

        A planned community for residents who have retired from an active working life. These can be apartments, neighborhoods, culde-sacs, or stand alone residences.

        Residential Care Home

        A residential setting where a number of older people live and have access to onsite care services. Each home is registered for specific care needs (dementia, terminal illness, etc.).

        Respite Care

        This is care which can be planned for for emergencies which is provided for a patent in order to give temporary relief to their regular caregivers.


        Registered Nurse (RN)

        A RN is an individual who has graduated from a nursing program, obtained a license and fulfilled the requirements outlined by the licensing body in their state or country.


        Reverse Mortgage

        Also known as a home equity conversion mortgage, this is a special type of loan for homeowners who are 62 years of older that does not require a montly mortgage payment. These mortgatges allow participants to access the equity they have built in their homes immediately.  Interest is added to the balance of the loan monthly.



        Skilled Nursing or Skilled Care

        24 hour licensed nursing services available at the residents living facility.  Also known as a "nursing home".

        Section 8 Housing

        Section 8 housing is provided for individuals who qualify.  In order to qualify the household annual income cannot exceed the income limit for the area. This limit is adjusted by family size.  For qualified families, vouchers are given to pay all or part of rent.  It is up to the family to choose their home.

        Section 236 Housing

        This voucher program allows property owners to make mortgage payments that are based on a 1% mortgage interest rate.  The office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will then provide a subsidy to the lender to cover the difference between the 1% paid and the market interest rate on the loan.  Households that participate are required to pay rent equal to the greater of 30% of their adjusted income as long as it does not exceed market rent for the property. Note, any amount paid by the household that is more than the basic rent is considered "excess" rent which the property owner then repays to HUD.

        Secured Unit

        A secured unit is a typical dementia or memory unit where doors and windows are locked at all times to prevent patient wandering without supervision.


        Senior Center

        This is a place that is typically community based where multiple activities such as social, educational and recreational events are had or coordinated at little to no cost for older adults.


        Senior Living Facility

        This is a generic term for a facility that caters to individuals who are 65 plus years old.



        Acronym for "Skilled Nursing Facility".

        Spend Down

        This is a requirement for individuals to have used or to use up most of their income and/or assets in order to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.


        Special Care Unit

        An area inside an assisted living or healthcare facility specifically intended for people with progressive cognitive diseases (dementias, Alzheimer's Disease etc.). Units are often behind a secured door and may also be called Dementia Units, Alzheimer's Units or Secured Units.


        Sub-Acute Care

        This is a comprehensive level of in-patient care that is coordinated for individuals who experience acute illness.


        Substantial Supervision

        This is the need for continual supervision by one individual for another in order to assist and protect them from threats to their health or safety (such as Dementia patients who may wander).


        Sub-Acute Care

        Care provided to individuals who are sufficiently stabilized and no longer require acute care services, but are too complex for treatment in a conventional nursing center. Subacute programs typically treat patients who are medically complex and require extensive monitoring, intravenous therapy or pre- or post-operative care. Care may focus on a specific medical specialty, such as physical rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, wound care, infectious disease care, neurological rehabilitation, orthopedic care, pre- and post-
        transplant care and pulmonary care, including ventilator care.


        The Eden Alternative

        The Eden Alternative is about changing culture of Long Term Care organizations, by moving away from the top-down bureaucratic approach to management and moving decision making closer to the Elders. Edenizing organizations are helping to support a meaningful life for their Elders.


        The occurrence of an individual dying without a legally valid will.



        The individual who draws up a will.



        Abbreviation for the measurement of Temperature, Pulse and Respiration.



          VA Long Term Care

          The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a spectrum of geriatric and extended care services to veterans enrolled in its health care system. Most VA medical centers provide home- and community-based outpatient long-term care programs. This patient-focused approach supports the wishes of most patients to live at home in their own communities for as long as possible.