The growth of the senior population is calling attention to the rising demand for long-term services. Know the following terms related to long-term care courtesy of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services. From home health care to institutional care, seniors have a variety of services from which to choose depending on their state of health.
Activities of daily living (ADLs): Basic personal activities, including bathing, eating, dressing, moving around, transferring from bed to chair, and using the toilet.
Adult day care: A daytime community-based program for adults with functional impairments that provides health, social, and related support services in a protective setting.
Assisted living facility: Residences that provide a “home with services” and that emphasize residents’ privacy and choice. Residents typically have private rooms that lock (shared only by choice) and private bathrooms. Personal care services are generally available 24 hours a day. Assisted living facilities provide a broad range of residential care services, including some assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living but excluding nursing services (such as administration of medication). Assisted living facilities stress independence and generally provide less intensive care than that delivered in nursing homes and in other long-term care institutions.
Board and care home: A home that offers housing and personal care services. (Such a residence may also be called an adult care home or group home.) Services such as meals, supervision, and transportation are usually provided by the owner or manager.
Caregiver: A person who provides support and assistance with various activities. The person may provide emotional or financial support as well as help with different tasks. Caregivers may be unpaid (informal care) or paid (formal care).
Cognitive impairment: Deterioration or loss of intellectual capacity, as indicated by clinical evidence and standardized tests that reliably measure impairment in the areas of short- or long-term memory; orientation as to person, place, and time; and deductive or abstract reasoning. People with cognitive impairment require continual supervision to protect themselves and others from harm. Such loss in intellectual capacity can result from Alzheimer’s disease or from other ailments, such as vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and fronto-temporal dementia.
Congregate housing: Individual apartments with which residents may receive some services, such as a daily meal with other tenants. Buildings usually have some common areas, such as a dining room or lounge, and additional safety measures, such as emergency call buttons. Rental payments for this type of housing may be paid in part by the government.
Continuing care retirement community: Communities that offer multiple levels of care (independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care) and that allow residents to remain in the same environment even if their needs change. These communities provide residential services (meals, housekeeping, and laundry), social and recreational activities, health care services, personal care, and nursing care. They require payment of a monthly fee and possibly a large initial lump-sum payment.
Custodial care: Assistive care for people with functional limitations that does not require specialized training or services. (See also personal care.)
Dementia: A group of diseases (including Alzheimer’s disease) that are characterized by memory loss and other declines in mental functioning.
Group home: See board and care home.
Home- and community-based services: Any care or services provided in a patient’s place of residence or in a non-institutional setting. Services may include skilled services, such as home health care and other medical services, and non-skilled services, such as personal care, adult day care or day treatment, and homemaking.
Home- and community-based waivers: Under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act, state Medicaid programs may obtain a waiver to offer a wide array of home- and community-based services that an individual may use to delay or avoid institutionalization. Among the services offered are case management, homemaking, personal care, adult day care, habilitation, and respite care.
Home health agency: A public or private organization that provides health care services in a patient’s home.
Home health aide: A person who assists elderly, ill, or disabled people with household chores, bathing, personal care, and other daily living needs.