Home Healthcare

Home Health Agency
Home Health Agency is licensed by the State of Florida. They provide services to patients in their homes, or in assisted living facilities. Services provided include direct medical care such as nursing care, and rehabilitation services (physical, occupation, respiratory and speech therapy) as well as companion or respite care and medical supplies and equipment. Service providers sent to a patient's home are employees of the agency. Home Health agencies can also provide staff to nursing homes and hospitals.

Companion Care Company
A Companion Care Company is registered by the State. They provide a wide variety of services, from housekeeping, meal preparation, other routine household chores and companionship, to accompany the client to medical appointments and other activities outside the home. By law, companion care companies may not provide direct care to the client, medical or otherwise. As examples, they may not give medication of bathe the clients. Serve providers are employed by the company.

Nurse Registry
A Nurse Registry is licensed by the State. They are, in a sense, the "middle-man"; they connect nurses, nursing assistants, companions, and home-health aides with clients who require services in their homes, Hospitals, or Assisted Living Facilities. The service providers are independent contractors indent direct employees of the registry.

Residential Communities

Independent Living Community
Provides a housing community for retired individuals who are physically and intellectually able to live independently.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
Is also known as a Life Care Community and provide a range of aging care needs from independent, assisted and nursing care (and often dementia care as well) in a single community. Most residents of CCRCs move into the community while still living independently and will remain in the community for life, transitioning into different types of care if and as needed. CCRCs can be costly, and have a wide range of entrance and recurring fees. CCRCs are not independently or assisted living facilities but rather are a combination of all types of residential communities and provide a continuum of care for residents.

Independent Living Community
Provides a housing community for retired individuals who are physically and intellectually able to live independently.

Assisted Living Facility (ALF)
Provides supervision or assistance with activities of daily living, coordination of services by outside health providers, and providing activities, in an effort to ensure the health, safety and well being of residents. ALFs vary in size from a three resident house to large facilities that house hundreds of residents.

Medical

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
The things we normally do in daily living including any daily activity we perform for self-care (such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming), work, homemaking, and leisure. The ability or inability to perform ADLs can be used as a very practical measure of ability/disability in many disorders.

Activities Of Daily Living (ADLs)
These are the activities that one normally performs for themselves throughout the day. These include toileting, feeding, bathing, dressing, and grooming, and walking and transferring (e.g.: from bed to chair).

Adult Day Care
Structured programs that provide daytime care to seniors who need company and/or some type of assistance during the day. They are most helpful for adult children who are caregivers to aging parents while working full-time and taking care of their own children.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME))
Medical equipment that is prescribed by a Medical Practitioner for use in the patient's home such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen equipment and lifts.

Geriatric Care Manager (GCM)
A GCM is an expert that helps families determine what kind of help is needed and plans and coordinates that plan of action. They’re usually licensed social workers or nurses and many are specialists in specific areas such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Geriatrics
The medical specialty that focuses on the health and disease of older persons.

Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living (IADLs)
IADLs are the more complex skills needed to live independently. These include: paying bills, daily financial management, meal preparation, grocery shopping, housekeeping, self medication-management.

Long Term Care (LTC)
LTC refers to any and all services that are delivered to any person, who has health problems, over a long period of time.

Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE)
Commonly used clinical test that consists of 30 questions that determine the cogitive function level and dementia. It takes only five minutes to administer and is scored from 1-30. (20-24:suggests mild dementia; 13-20 suggests moderate dementia; Less than 12 suggests severe dementia). The MMSE is most useful as a screening measure, and not as a stand-alone test for dementia. Like many screening tools it has strengths and weaknesses. It is relatively unable or insensitive to detect mild cognitive problems, when the earliest stage of dementia is beginning. It's more likely to pick up problems that involve memory and orientation and less likely to pick up problems involving reasoning, judgment, planning, or organizing ones' thoughts.

Rehabilitation
Therapeutic care for those who need intensive, speech, occupation or physical therapy. Rehabilitation can take place in an in-patient facility or in ones home.

Skilled Nursing Facility
Provides long-term medical and daily care. Many of these facilities care for Alzheimer's patients.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
An order written by an MD indicating that in the event of a medical emergency where the heart or breathing stops that no intervention be undertaken y staff. This doesn't mean that care is withheld. Continuing care is provided except if heart or breathing stops.

Hospice Care
Professionally coordinated services of palliative care (pain and symptom management), social services, and emotion support for terminally ill people and their families. Care can be provide at home or in other settings.

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)
An electronic device with a call button that a person can use to call for help in an emergency. There are many different types to suit ones specific needs. A recent post (http://www.theseniorlist.com/2014/12/medical-alert-systems-everything-need-know/) detail what you should know to get the best one for you.

Dementia
A significant loss of cognitive function such that it impairs daily function. There are several types of dementia.

Incontinence
The inability to control bladder and bowel function.

Legal

Advanced Directives

An advanced directive is also referred to as a living will, a personal directive, or an advanced decision. They are instructions given to individuals that specify what actions should be taken for their health should they not be capable to make their choices known. The directive appoints a person to make such decisions on their behalf. There are different types of advanced directives.

  • Living Will: Provides direction to suspend of withdraw linfe-prolonging procedures in the event of a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state or end-stage condition. 
  • Health Care Surrogate: Direction expressing aspects of healthcare that includes: 1) designation of Health Care Surrogate to consent of refuse medical treatment; 2) to apply for private, public or veteran's benefits to pay costs of healthcare; 3) to access medical records, and 4) to make anatomical gifts.
  • Power of Attorney: Legal document used by individuals and entities to designate an agent to act on their behalf. It's oftehn used in estate planning as a viable alternative to guardianship.


Living Will
Legal document that lays out an individual's specific instructions and wishes concerning life-saving medical treatment. It is used if there person become incapacitated and unable to communicate their own wishes directly.

Guardian
A person appointed by a course who is responsible for the care and management of an individual who has been determined to be incapable of making their own decisions.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
A federal law that provides you rights over your own health information and sets rules on who can view and receive your health care information. It also permits the release of personal health information that is needed for patient care.

Will
  • Instrument executed by someone in the manner prescribed by law wihich disposes of person's property on or after death and includes appointment of personal representative or revokes or revises another will.
  • May include provisions regarding funeral or burial.
  • May include a reference to a separate writing disposing of items of tangible personal property.


Other Terms

American Association Of Retired Persons (AARP)
AARP is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization for individuals 50+. It's politcally active on behalf of senior issues, and provides its members with information, benefits, advocacy and other services.

Area Agencies On Aging
Area Agencies on Aging are either public or non-profit organizations that were created throught the Old Americans Act. They address the needs of seniors within a specific geographic area and adminstrate services (such as Meals on Wheels) and funded programs that promote healthy aging and aging at home.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
Medical equipment that is prescribed by a Medical Practitioner for use in the patient's home such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen equipment and lifts.

Areas Agencies On Aging (AAA)
Area Agencies on Aging are either public or non-profit organizations that were created throught the Old Americans Act. They address the needs of seniors within a specific geographic area and adminstrate services (such as Meals on Wheels) and funded programs that promote healthy aging and aging at home.

Respite Care
Is short-term and temporary relief to those caregiving for family members, who without their help, would otherwise require placement in a facility outside the home. There are community-based and local programs that provide such assistance to help alleviate some of the emotion and financial consequences for the caregiver. It also provides a break for the caregiver which has been shown to be beneficial to their health.

Aging In Place
A commonly used term for meeting a person's increasing living and health needs in their own residence.

Care Plan
Is a written plan that includes strategies and specific recommendations for ways to deliver care that meets the patient's current and future needs.

Financial

Daily Money Manager (DMM)
Helps with the daily finances, include the explanation of financial statements, the coordination of paperwork for tax preparation, monitoring medical insurance payments and reimbursement, balancing checkbooks and assistance with paying bills. The association of daily Money Managers (www.aadmm.com) requires its members to adhere to a code of ethics.

Daily Money Manager (DMM)
Helps with the daily finances, include the explanation of financial statements, the coordination of paperwork for tax preparation, monitoring medical insurance payments and reimbursement, balancing checkbooks and assistance with paying bills. The association of daily Money Managers (www.AAdmm.com) requires its members to adhere to a code of ethics.

Insurance

Long Term Care Insurance
Is an insurance product that helps provide for the cost of long term health, for items not covered by health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. People who use the insurance are not sick in the traditional sense, but require help in their activities of daily living (ADLs] such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Long-term health care insurance generally covers many services including home healthcare, assisted living, adult daycare, and private nursing care.

Medicaid
Is medical health insurance that is funded by both federal and state governments. It's specifically designed to provide assistance to low income individuals, especially seniors, and those with disabilities. There are strict income restrictions for medicaid and to qualify one must exhaust all their financial assets before qualifying. Most nursing homes participate in the Medicaid programs. In some states Medicaid will also pay for assisted living facilities,

Medicare
Is a federal system of Health Insurance for people 65+ and for certain younger individuals with disabilities. Unlike other federal programs, Medicare is not supported by a large, federal organizational hierarchy. The federal government enters into contracts with private insurance companies for the processing of Medicare claims. In 1995, Medicare covered 37 million people. The number of people eligible for Medicare will continue exponentially as the post–World War II baby boom generation begins to retire. Medicare has 2 basic parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).

Medigap Insurance
Medigap is a private health insurance policy that is used to supplement basic Medicare coverage, and pays for health care costs that are not covered or reimbursed by Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. Medigap plans focus on hospital and doctor costs. It is often referred to as Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
A health-care organization that provides a comprehensive range of services for a prepaid fee. Services include hospitalization, medical care, preventive care. In Medicare, HMO's are often referred to as Advantage Plans are are the Part "C" of Medicare.

Certified Aging In Space Specialist (CAPS)
The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation is a special certification for designers to competing to provide home modifications designs to enable people to age-in-place as independently and as safely as possible.