Glossary of Terms

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 for adults who need some supervision and/or support.

A public agency that investigates reports of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults, usually working with law enforcement. Immediate dangerous situations should be directed to 911 or local police.

Making plans about the care you would want if you could no longer speak for yourself while you are healthy enough to consider options, make choices and discuss with your family; Making a living will and naming a healthcare surrogate are part of advance care planning.

A document that describes the healthcare you would and would not want if you were seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself.

An agency designated by the state with the responsibility for planning and coordinating services for older people and those with disabilities within a specific geographic area. Ohio has twelve area agencies, each serving a multi-county planning and service area. These agencies provide information, resources, assistance, and links to community services.

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

A change in a patient’s care, from hospital to home, for example, or from one team of doctors to another, or from curative care to hospice care. Transitions are difficult for the patient and require planning, communication and careful monitoring.

The professional coordination of services to benefit a client; in healthcare facilities, case managers (or case workers) coordinate services for patients transitioning from hospital to other care setting.

One of the four levels of care mandated by the Medicare/Medicaid hospice benefit; up to 24 hours/day of clinical care in the home until symptoms are under control.

Treatments intended to cure a disease.

Determination of the disease or condition that explains a person’s symptoms.

A professional who assists patients and their families in developing a plan of care for a patient following a hospital or nursing home stay.

A Do Not Resuscitate Order, written by a physician at the request of a terminally ill patient and placed in the patient’s records. It instructs medical staff not to revive the patient if their breathing or heartbeat stops.

The mistreatment and/or harm of an elderly person by someone in a position of trust, such as a family member, spouse, friend, or other professional or family caregiver.

Choosing to be admitted to hospice and signing the necessary paperwork.

The process of planning for health care in the final hours or days of a patient’s life.

Anyone who provides physical and/or emotional care to an ill or disabled loved one at home.

A law that requires employers to allow employees to take unpaid time off work (up to 12 weeks) for illness, having/adopting a baby, or caring for an ill family member. The employee’s current or an equivalent job is guaranteed when you return. This law may not apply to small companies or new employees.

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

A special kind of durable power of attorney in which you appoint another person to make health care decisions should you become unable to do so.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which gives you rights over health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. It also permits the release of personal health information needed for patient care.

An agency often certified by Medicare/Medicaid to provide health-related services in the home such as nursing, occupational, speech or physical therapy, social work, and/or personal care.

A qualified individual who helps with bathing, dressing, grooming, assistance with meals, and light housekeeping.

Supplies and equipment (hospital bed, wheelchair, patient lift equipment, oxygen and its delivery systems, bedside commode) that support the unique needs of a patient at home.

A qualified individual who provides personal or “custodial” care (help with eating, bathing, dressing, moving around, using the bathroom) near the end of life.

Professionally coordinated support services, including pain and symptom management, social services, and emotional and spiritual support for the terminally ill and their families.

Professional caregivers (RN, physician, social worker, chaplain, hospice aide, bereavement specialist and volunteer) who work together to care for the whole patient near the end of life  – See Interdisciplinary Group

Guidelines that determine if a patient qualifies for the Medicare/Medicaid hospice benefit; two physicians must certify that the patient has fewer than six months to live if the disease follows its usual course.

A team of professional caregivers with different specialties (social, spiritual, medical, personal care) who work together to care for the whole patient and family members.

A legal document that specifies a person’s wishes about lifesaving medical treatments should he or she be in a terminal condition and not able to communicate their health care wishes.

The federal/state funded health and long-term care program for people with limited income and assets.

The national health insurance program for people age 65 and older, and for some younger persons with disabilities.

A federally funded program that provides a range of services to assist family caregivers who care for loved ones at home.

Professionally coordinated services that focus on physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs of those with life-threatening illness and their families. It seeks to improve quality of life.

A document created by a hospice or home health care team that lists the services you need, the team member who will provide them, how often and what results are expected.

The personal physician who cares for you and refers you to specialists as necessary.

The likely course of a disease or illness.

A break from providing care for a loved one. It can be provided by either family, friends, a paid home care worker, or through services such as attending an adult day services center.

Provided at home or in a facility by a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, doctor, or technician.

Having a disease or illness that cannot be cured, and that is expected to result in death in a short time.

Advantages or payments available to military veterans through the US government.