Caregiver/Carer Glossary of Terms

Ian C. Langtree Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2008/12/10 - Updated: 2023/07/15
Publication Type: Glossaries / Definitions / Acronyms
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Many terms used in the caregiving or life care industry need to be clarified. This glossary explains some of the meanings of caregiver terms. Disabled Persons Equipment and Supplies - The equipment and supplies that help persons with physical, sensory, or mental impairments that can make performing an everyday task more difficult. Some disabilities, such as a broken hip, may be temporary; others are relatively minor, such as vision impairments that corrective lenses can modify. Other disabilities classified as severe may not represent a handicap, such as an inability to participate in community life on an equal level with others. For instance, a person who uses a wheelchair may be able to live independently if physical and social barriers to mobility have been removed.

Introduction

Many terms used in the caregiver or life care industry can be confusing, this glossary explains some of the meanings related to elder care.

Main Digest

Activities of Daily Living
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are tasks that we as humans perform when taking care of essential body upkeep. These ADL tasks are similar to Instrumental Activities of Daily Living but are more bodily issues than social/societal. (Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, Continence, Eating)
Acute Care
Care in a hospital setting which includes surgery, doctor visits, X-rays, etc.
ADA Consulting
Americans with Disability consulting provides professional direction with regards to accessible design, construction as well as direction in the areas of employment and "reasonable accommodations."
Adult Day Care
Provides non-medical care and supervision to adults in need of personal services, protection, assistance, guidance, or training. Adult Day Care assists its participants to remain in the community.
Adult Day Health
Provides an organized day program of therapeutic, social activities, health activities, and services to adults with functional impairments, either physical or mental, to restore or maintain optimal capacity for self-care.
Adult Education
Any services or instruction below the post-secondary level for individuals at least 16 years of age who are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law.
Adult Residential Care Homes
Adult Residential Care Homes (ARCH) provide for the social and daily needs of individuals rather than medical needs. Residents are usually people who are functionally semi-independent but need assistance in the activities of daily living. Dietary, housekeeping, social and recreational programs, and medical monitoring are the primary functions of these facilities. ARCHs are designated as Type I or Type II. Type I care homes are limited to 5 or fewer residents in a family home. Type II care homes are institutional settings and may care for as many as 50 to 60 residents.
Advocacy
Active support or argument in favor of something such as a cause, idea, or policy.
Assisted Living
Assisted Living provides housing along with supportive services for persons needing assistance with personal care or medications.
Assistive Technology
As you grow older, you may find that you need to change how you do things. If so, assistive technology (a new term for adaptive devices) might have the answer. Assistive technology includes devices that will help you continue doing the activities you have always done but slightly differently. For example, it might be a walker that makes moving around possible.
Case Management
Client-centered professional-level service designed to assist, identify, and obtain services needed.
Certified Nurse Aide
(CNA) A Nurse Aide who has taken special training and passed proficiency testing. The certification is given by the state and entitles them to work in a facility or private home.
Continence
Bowel or Bladder Control
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) combine independent living, assisted living, and a nursing facility under one roof.
Continuous Care
Home care services that are provided on an extended basis.
Convalescent Homes
See Skilled Nursing Facilities
Custodial Care
Care that primarily deals with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and supervision.
Developmental Disabilities
Developmental disabilities cover persons whose disability occurs before age 22 and includes a mental or physical impairment or a combination of both. There must be a substantial limitation in three or more of these major life areas self-care; expressive or receptive language; learning; mobility; capacity for independent living; economic self-sufficiency; or self-direction.
Disability Services/Travel and Transportation
Any airline, ground transportation, and accommodations services that provide accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Disabled Persons Equipment and Supplies
The equipment and supplies that help persons with physical, sensory, or mental impairments that can make performing an everyday task more difficult. Some disabilities, such as a broken hip, may be temporary; others are relatively minor, such as vision impairments that corrective lenses can modify. Other disabilities classified as severe may not represent a handicap, such as an inability to participate in community life on an equal level with others. For instance, a person who uses a wheelchair may be able to live independently if physical and social barriers to mobility have been removed.
Enteral Nutrition
Fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes administered through specialized feeding tubes to the esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
Enterostomal Therapy
The enterostomal therapist provides direct patient care and education to persons with abdominal stomach wounds, fistulas, drains, pressure sores, and incontinence.
Foster Care
A residential alternative to long term care. As a Medicaid Waiver program, it is available to Medicaid-eligible individuals needing ICF or SNF care. Individual families are recruited and trained to provide long-term care in private homes. Case management is an integral component, providing monitoring, oversight, supervision, and training to foster caregivers.
Geriatric Care Manager
A geriatric care manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older people and their families with long-term care arrangements. GCMs have training in gerontology, social work, nursing, or counseling.
Guardianship Services
Guardianship is a legal relationship between a competent adult and a person over the age of 18 whose disability causes incompetency (a ward). The disability may be caused by mental illness, developmental disability, age, accident, or other causes. A developmental disability or mental illness is not, by itself, sufficient reason to declare someone incompetent. In addition, a person may not be declared incompetent simply because it saves someone money or because the disabled person acts or uses personal money in ways that seem odd to someone else. Competency has to do with a person's ability to make an 'informed decision' or with the risk of harm they may experience due to their inability to provide for themselves or manage their affairs.
Home Health Aide
(HHA) A Nurse Aide who has been tested and proven competent in home health skills. Home Health Aides can work in the private home.
Home Health Service
Services that allow you to remain safely at home with some assistance in daily living, whether it's medical, personal hygiene, companionship, rehabilitation and support to aid the healing process after illness, surgery or injury.
Home Infusion
Supplies essential nutrients, fluids, electrolytes, medication, blood, or blood products directly into the patient's bloodstream. Specific therapies include antibiotics, diuretics, pain control, hydration, chemotherapy, and total parenteral nutrition.
Home Medical Equipment
(HME) Equipment used by the patient to support the attainment of the highest level of independent function. HME includes hospital beds, walkers, bath benches, trapezes, oxygen, and ventilators.
Homebound
Inability to leave home without a taxing effort, the assistance of someone else, or the use of crutches, cane, walker, wheelchair, or special transportation.
Homemaker Service
A person who performs general household duties such as cooking, cleaning, child care, and shopping for a client unable to perform these for themselves. A homemaker is not trained to provide personal care.
Hospice
A coordinated program of palliative and supportive care for individuals with a terminal illness. An interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers provides services in the patient's residence or an inpatient setting during the illness and grief.
Independent Retirement Housing
Independent Retirement Housing provides meals, activities, housekeeping, and maintenance to independent residents.
Infusion Therapy
Supplies essential nutrients, fluids, electrolytes, medication, blood, or blood products directly into the patient's bloodstream. Specific therapies include antibiotics, diuretics, pain control, hydration, chemotherapy, and total parenteral nutrition.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are tasks like shopping, bill paying, cooking, and other tasks very necessary to an individual and a household. These tasks are similar to the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but are more social/societal than bodily issues.
Insurance/Disability
An insurance policy that pays benefits if the policyholder becomes incapable of working.
Insurance/Long Term Care
Long-term care insurance is one of the ways you may pay for long-term care. This type of insurance will pay for some or all of your long-term care. Long-term care insurance is a relatively new type of insurance. It was introduced in the 1980s as nursing home insurance but has changed significantly and now covers much more than nursing home care.
Intermediate Nursing Facilities
Intermediate Nursing Facilities (ICF) provide less intensive nursing care than that which is typically found in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF); however, many ICF patients may require higher levels of care to assist them with the activities of daily living. ICF services include 24-hour nursing care along with rehabilitative, social services, physical, occupational, and other therapies as prescribed by the patient's physician.
Intermittent Care
Home care services provided on an episodic basis.
Job Placement and Vocational Rehab Service
Services that assist individuals with disabilities in overcoming barriers to employment, independence, and community integration.
Live in
A non-relative living in the patient's home who assists as requested by the patient.
Long Term Care
Services provided for an extended period to patients of all ages with severe chronic diseases or disabilities involving substantial functional impairment. Long Term Care can range from skilled medical care to personal assistance with activities of daily living.
Long Term Home Care
Services and equipment provided in the home for an extended period to patients of all ages with severe chronic diseases or disabilities involving substantial functional impairment. Long-term home care can substitute for placement in a skilled nursing facility.
Managed Care
Assessment of nursing and social needs. Coordination of providers and oversight of services.
Medicaid
An individual will only qualify for Medicaid if they have satisfied income impoverishment tests.
Medical Social Services
If a patient is having difficulty adjusting to physical, psychological, financial, environmental, or familial limitations which inhibit their recovery from an illness or injury, a medical social worker (MSW) may provide advice and counsel, and instruct in the utilization of appropriate community resources.
Medicare
An individual is eligible for Medicare if they are 65 or older, or has chronic renal disease, or are disabled. Medicare mainly provides acute services and 90 days of skilled care.
Nurse Aide
Provides personal care, including assistance with ambulation, bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.
Nursing Homes
Provides long-term care for those with considerable assistance needs. Services include medical, nursing, personal care, social, and ADL assistance. Generally reserved for persons who do not need acute care but require more attention than is provided in an Assisted Living Facility.
Occupational Therapy
(OT) Is needed if a patient has suffered an injury or illness which has affected perceptual motor skills or the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), such as dressing, bathing, toileting, eating or meal preparation. The occupational therapy program may consist of evaluation, ADL training, and adaptive equipment recommendations to maximize potential in perceptual-motor and daily activity skills. Typically, this service is considered skilled care.
Physical Therapy
(PT) Is needed if a patient has suffered an injury or illness which has affected motor skills or function. The physical therapy program may consist of evaluation, therapeutic exercises, gait training, adaptive equipment recommendations, massage, heat, cold or electrical treatments, all geared toward helping the patient attain their maximum functional motor potential. Typically, this service is considered skilled care.
Plan of Care
A written document signed by the physician or other licensed health professional. It outlines the prescribed care that is to be given to the patient.
Private Duty Nursing
Nursing services provided in the home or a facility exclusively to an individual primarily for observation and support and requiring a minimal degree of skilled interventions.
Prosthetic Devices
Mechanical devices adapted to reproduce the form and, as far as possible, the function of a lost or absent member. An example would be an artificial arm or leg.
Psychiatric Nursing
Provided by nurses specifically trained and experienced in psychiatry. It includes observations and interventions related to the patient's behavior, social interactions, administration of medications, and instructions about these medications and their side effects.
Rehabilitation Equipment and Supplies
The equipment and supplies that help with any program designed around exercise, guidance, or instruction afforded to those with a particular disability, whether physical, psychological, or social.
Rehabilitation Services
Therapeutic care services for persons with disabilities, usually physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
Residential Care Homes
Residential Care Homes provide for the social and daily needs of individuals rather than medical needs. Residents are usually people who are functionally semi-independent but need assistance in the activities of daily living. Dietary, housekeeping, social and recreational programs, and medical monitoring are the primary functions of these facilities. Adult Residential Care Homes are designated as Type I or Type II. Type I care homes are limited to 5 or fewer residents in a family home. Type II care homes are institutional settings and may care for as many as 50 to 60 residents.
Respiratory Therapy
Home health nurses provide treatment, education, and training to patients with lung problems. Respiratory home care patients are supplied with needed respiratory equipment such as concentrators, liquid, and cylinder oxygen systems, aerosol and drug nebulization equipment, and home ventilator support systems.
Respite Care
Providing temporary relief to the caregiver(s) from the duties of caring for the patient. Respite care may be provided by interdisciplinary home care team members, homemakers, or volunteers in the patient's home or other residential settings.
Rest Homes
A facility or institution where people are cared for. Often synonymous with nursing homes.
Retirement Communities and Homes
Housing for older adults with amenities such as transportation and social activities. On-site meals, banking, health screenings, pharmacy, and sundry shopping may be available.
Senior Housing
Age-restricted housing for older adults who can care for themselves and live independently. Usually, no additional services such as meals or transportation are provided.
Skilled Nursing
(SN) The performance of procedures or activities requiring the skill of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. These activities may include assessment, education, and administration of medications and treatments. Medicare-reimbursable, skilled nursing services include skilled observation, "hands-on" intervention, skilled teaching, and management and evaluation of the patient care plan.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) provide continuous 24-hour nursing care for convalescent and critically or chronically ill residents. RNs, LPNs, and Certified Nurse Aides provide care and services physicians prescribe, emphasizing medical nursing care. The patient's physician offers physical, occupational, and other therapies.
Speech Pathology/Speech Therapy
(SP)/(ST) May be recommended if the patient has suffered an illness or injury which has affected speaking or hearing ability and language skills. The speech therapist helps the patient relearn and practice language skills.
Tuck In Service
A service that makes contact with an at-risk individual to make sure that they are not in any harm. This check is usually done in the evening and could be either a telephone call or a visit to the person's home.

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2008, December 10). Caregiver/Carer Glossary of Terms. Disabled World. Retrieved May 20, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/definitions/caregivers-definitions.php

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