There are a lot of new words used in the field of eldercare.
This is a list of commonly used terms that describe levels of
care, community services, and legal matters. We hope you find
of Daily Living (ADLs)
A person’s daily routine of basic functions, for example, bathing, dressing,
eating, walking and other personal care activities.
A day care service/setting that provides a social environment and activities
to accommodate the needs of both the physically and mentally challenged elderly.
This type of care can be scheduled on a daily, weekly or part-time basis.
Allows you to express wishes in advance to let physicians and other health
care providers know what medical treatments are acceptable in the event you
are unable to communicate your wishes.
A condition which affects the brain and may result in loss of memory, mood
swings, speech imbalance, confusion/hallucinations and incontinence. Advanced
stages of this disease generally require 24-hour care. Dementia – brain
disorders that obstruct and diminish cognitive performance such as memory,
judgment, personality and social function.
Living Facility or Residential Care Facility I or II (ALF or RCF
I or II)
This living arrangement is a state licensed community offering assistance with
daily living activities. These facilities have medical personnel assisting
with medication, administration, dressing, bathing, and social activities.
This is often referred to as a Resident Care Facility (RCF I or II).
Assistance available to older adults who reside in a variety of living arrangements
designed to help with the activities of daily life (ADLs). Such services range
from assistance with bathing and dressing to home cleaning, laundry and meal
preparation. Some may also escort a person to medical appointments and assist
with medication management and more.
Cost effective, quality care or services, in the least restrictive environment,
that enable people to stay within their own home and community; that enhances
quality of life; and supports individuals chosen lifestyle.
Conservatorship is a process in which the court appoints a person to make certain
legal decisions for you. This person is called a conservator. Your conservator
can make decisions like whether you can start or stop taking psychiatric medications,
accept other medical treatment, manage your money and decide where to live.
When you are on conservatorship, the court may limit your right to vote, to
enter into contracts, to drive or to own a firearm. The LPS conservatorship
can last for a maximum of one year at a time, and can be renewed in court at
the end of the year.
Continuing Care Retirement
This community is commonly called Life Care. This lifestyle has a campus consisting
of Independent Living (I/L), Assisted Living (ALF), and Skilled Nursing (S/N).
They typically offer the full selection of amenities associated with retirement
living. A large endowment fee in addition to a monthly maintenance fee can
This is supervision and/or assistance of activities of daily life offered in
the home environment. This typically is a 24-hour program for an individual
who does not desire to live in a congregate home.
The loss of intellectual functions (such as memory deficit or confusion) that
interfere with daily living. There are many causes for dementia and some of
these may be reversible such as drug reactions and nutritional deficiencies.
Other causes of dementia are not reversible such as Alzheimer's disease which
is the most common type of dementia. To accurately determine the cause of dementia
and provide optimal treatment, the older person needs a thorough geriatric
assessment performed by a physician with input from family members.
An item that can withstand repeated use, is used for medical purposes, and
for an illness or injury in the home, i.e., walker, liquid oxygen tank, wheelchair.
Power of Attorney
Gives power to another to make legal or financial decisions such as handling
investments, paying bills, contracting for nursing services and/or other living
arrangements or care. The powers can be narrow or broad. To make this legally
binding you should seek the advice of an attorney.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
Gives power to another to make medical and other healthcare decisions if you
A business industry that provides services or products that directly or indirectly
impacts the lives of the older adult population.
A degreed professional who specializes in aging related issues and assists
older adults and their family members by assessing their needs and identifying
the best services and care available to meet those needs.
Many older people experience multiple medical problems, frequent falls, memory
and functional problems. Evaluations are needed to determine the patient's
strengths and problems, so that resources can be identified and used to promote
as much independence, safety, and lifestyle satisfaction as possible. A thorough
care plan is provided upon completion of the assessment.
A formal, legal procedure in which the Circuit Court appoints an adult person
(a Guardian) to exercise some or all of the legal rights and powers of another
person (a Ward), after the Court has found that the Ward lacks the capacity
to perform some or all of the tasks necessary to care for his or her person
This program is state licensed medical personnel offering professional services
in the home environment. Home Health typically offers medication assistance,
homemaking, bathing assistance and rehabilitation therapy.
Provides assistance with light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation,
laundry, eliminating safety hazards, accompanying to appointments, running
errands and grocery shopping.
This is specialized care to lessen the physical and emotional discomfort of
the terminally ill. These services are offered to caregivers and families,
as well. Hospice can be offered in the home setting or at a hospice home.
A residential living setting for elderly or senior adults that may or may not
provide hospitality or supportive services. Under this living arrangement,
the senior adult leads an independent lifestyle that requires minimal or no
extra assistance. Generally referred to as elderly housing in the government-subsidized
environment, independent living also includes rental assisted or market rate
apartments or cottages where residents usually have complete choice in whether
to participate in a facility's services or programs.
A document in which a person states his/her wishes regarding medical treatment.
In Missouri, these documents become effective when the individual is incapacitated.
A government program, which provides certain health and long-term care services
for low-income persons age 65 and over. The person must financially qualify
based on monthly income and assets. This program then allows the person to
receive medical treatment both in and out of hospitals.
Eligible individuals can receive payment of their Medicare deductibles, co-payments
and nursing home care. Medicaid waiver allows for an individual to remain in
an assisted living facility, who would otherwise require a nursing home setting.
The program provides Medicaid reimbursement to the assisted living facility.
A federal healthcare insurance program for eligible people 65 and older and
in some cases disabled individuals. Medicare Part A covers hospital costs while
Part B cover’s physician bills and other medical expenses. It covers
a portion of your hospital and doctor bills. When you apply for Social Security
at full retirement age, you're automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (free
hospital insurance). You may choose to sign up for Medicare Part B (medical
insurance). A monthly premium for Part B will be deducted from your benefit
check unless low income entitles you to Qualified Medicare Beneficiary aid.
Provides 24-hour skilled care for the more acute patients. Patients generally
rely on assistance for most or all daily living activities (such as bathing,
dressing and toileting).
A senior advocate service that protects the rights of residents in assisted
living facilities by researching complaints and resolving disputes by initiating
Care Facility I
Provides 24-hour care, shelter and protective oversight, which may include
the storage and distribution of medications during a short-term illness or
Care Facility II
Provides additional services, such as supervision of diets, assistance with
personal care, housekeeping, social and recreational programs and care during
a short-term illness or recuperation and supervision of health care under the
direction of a licensed physician. This type of facility is designed for the
semi-independent resident able to walk alone or with the help of a cane or
The purpose pf respite care is to furnish the primary caregiver a short-term
relief from their day-to-day responsibility. This care is available in or away
from the home.
Care provided by a registered nurse such as injections, medication administration,
etc., or requires the skilled services of occupational and physical therapists,
speech pathologist and/or social workers. Generally, skilled care is covered
through Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)/Nursing
These state-licensed long-term care facilities offer 24-hour medical care provided
by registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN) and certified nurse
assistant (CNA). They also are required to have a medical director and house
physician. This facility cares for the very frail residents who are totally
dependent on nursing care. This facility typically has a short-term rehabilitation
unit for residents needing rehab between hospital and home.