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Glossary Of Terms

Active Adult Living

Active adult living is a style of life encouraged in active adult communities, which focus on providing their residents a range of activities to choose from.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Activities of Daily Living is a term used in medicine and nursing, especially in the care of the elderly. ADLs are “the things we normally do in, including any daily activity we perform for self-care (such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming), work, homemaking, and leisure.” Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs and to evaluate what type of health care services an individual may need.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care is a planned program of activities for adults who need supervision for part of the day. Adult day care centers can be public or private, non-profit, or for-profit and usually operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday.

Advance Directive

Advance directives for health care communicate the health care wishes of a person who can no longer make health care decisions. These documents must be prepared when the individual still has legal capacity to execute them. Advance directives for health care can include Living Wills, Durable Power of Attorney, and Do Not Resuscitate orders.

Aging in Place

A popular concept in senior living that expresses the preference for seniors to continue to age while residing in one place rather than moving to different communities or facilities as needs change.

Aging Services

An inclusive term for residential options, and services and care provided to older adults, usually those aged 55 and over.

Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s care refers to senior care services that specialize in caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Caregivers who provide Alzheimer’s care are specially trained in working with individuals with Alzheimer’s and in helping them with daily activities. Management companies like H&H provide accredited care and programs for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia residents.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, also called Alzheimer disease, or simply Alzheimer’s, is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive and incurable disease that destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking, speech and behavior. This degenerative disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. The disease course is divided into four stages, with progressive patterns of cognitive and functional impairments: Pre-dementia, early dementia, moderate dementia and advanced dementia.

Ambulatory Care

Medical service provided on an outpatient basis. Ambulatory care may include diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Assessment

Before moving into an assisted living or other care community, a resident usually goes through an assessment of their needs and care levels to determine requirements and correct placement in the community.

Assisted Living (AL)

Assisted living residences or assisted living facilities (ALFs) 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 and well-being. Assistance may include the administration or supervision of medication, or personal care services provided by a trained staff person. Assisting Living facilities are regulated and licensed at the provincial level.

Care Home

A nursing home, convalescent home, care home or rest home provides a type of care of residents: it is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness.

Caregiver

Friends and/or family members providing care to a loved one or senior.

Cognitive Ability

Cognition is the scientific term for “the process of thought.” Cognition, or cognitive processes, can be natural or artificial, conscious or unconscious.

Care Community

A care community, is a type of 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, whether apartment or enclosed unit. Typically, elderly persons move into a care community while still living independently, with few health risks or healthcare needs, and will remain reside there until end of life.

Convalescent Home

A nursing home, convalescent home, care home or rest home provides a type of care of residents: it is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness.

Dementia

Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging. It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.

Do Not Resuscitate Form

The Do Not Resuscitate order is a document or form that instructs health care staff, including emergency medical responders, not to perform life-saving treatments in medical situations where they could be used.

Home Health Care

Medical care and assistance provided in a home by a licensed professional.

Hospice

Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy of care which focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient’s symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, spiritual or social in nature.

Independent Living (IL)

Independent living communities refers to residence where seniors age 55 and older are able to get around on their own and need no or little help with daily activities. Commonly, independent living communities offer household tasks such as laundry, linen service, meals and transportation as part of their services.

Level Of Care

A classification of health care service levels or medical care needed by a potential resident, or the type of care offered by a community.

Lewy Body Disease

Lewy Body Disease, also called dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), is a common type of progressive dementia. It is closely allied to both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Living Will

A living will is a record of a person’s wishes regarding specific medical treatment at or near end of life. It describes and instructs health care staff on how the patient wants care managed.

Long-term Care (LTC)

Long-term care is a variety of services which help meet both the medical and non-medical need of people with a chronic illness or disability who cannot care for themselves for long periods of time. It is common for long-term care to provide custodial and non-skilled care, such as assisting with normal daily tasks like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.

Non-Ambulatory

A person with the inability to move independently due to being bedridden or hospitalized.

Nursing home

A nursing home, convalescent home, care home or rest home provides a type of care of residents: it is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness.

Palliative care

Palliative care is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than striving to halt, delay, or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure. The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills, speech, and other functions. Parkinson’s disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement and a loss of physical movement in extreme cases. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems.

Physician’s Order

A physician’s order details the medical care and medications needed by a particular patient. Many assisted living and individuals needing help with activities of daily living require a physician’s order before medications may be administered at the community.

Pick’s Disease

Pick’s disease, also known as Pick disease, is a brain disorder and form of dementia that affects the cognitive reasoning processes and results in brain cell damage and impairment. A person suffering from Pick’s disease may have difficulty reasoning and solving problems, as well as memory problems.

Placement

Assisted living and other care communities determine the best placement, area where they will live, etc., based on their care and need requirements.

Power of Attorney for Health Care

A Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document in which an individual designates an individual, or proxy, to make future medical and other health care decisions on behalf of the patient when they are no longer capable of doing so. This document can be highly detailed in its instruction and can carefully limit the scope of action by the proxy. It is highly recommended to also have a Power of Attorney for Finances as well.

Rehabilitation

Care for people needing occupational, physical, or speech therapy.

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 in order to support and maintain the primary care giving relationship. Many retirement communities and Assisted Living communities offer Respite Care, allowing people to stay for a set length of time, experiencing both the care and the social interaction offered by the community.

Rest Home

A nursing home, convalescent home, Skilled Nursing Unit (SNU), care home or rest home provides a type of care of residents: it is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness.

Vascular Dementia

Multi-infarct dementia, also known as vascular dementia, is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. It is caused by a narrowing or blocking of blood vessels in the brain.