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Terms to Know

Advanced Directive (medical directive) – Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

Adult Protective Services (APS) – Adult protective services include receiving and investigating reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older and other vulnerable adults, assessing risk factors, and arranging for and managing services for the victim according to the situation. If a report is of an emergency nature, APS workers transfer the information to the police or emergency personnel. In non-emergency cases, caseworkers contact the victim within an established time frame to begin the investigation.

Aging in Place – the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.

Alzheimer’s – Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia in which sufferers experience memory issues that begin gradually and gradually worsen, explains the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease typically occurs in senior citizens aged 65 and over, but symptoms can also develop in individuals in their 40s and 50s.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia usually developing slowly over time and causes problems with behavior, thinking and memory.

Assessment – is defined as a process of appraising something. Assessment is a process of collecting, reviewing and using data, for the purpose of improvement in the current performance.

Caregiving (Caregiver) – Caregivers offer home assistance to people who are sick, mentally disabled, elderly, injured or otherwise in need of assistance. A caregiver is typically responsible for helping with daily activities, administering medication, and performing light housework.

Chronic Diseases:


Dementia – is a group of symptoms involving cognitive degeneration.  Memory loss, a loss of thinking skills, and other cognitive impairments are examples of symptoms of dementia. The two most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, which can lead to vascular dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Estate Planning – Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax.

End of Life (EOL) – In medicinenursing and the allied health professions, end-of-life care (or EoLC) refers to health care, not only of patients in the final hours or days of their lives, but more broadly care of all those with a terminal illness or terminal condition that has become advanced, progressive and incurable. End-of-life care requires a range of decisions, including questions of palliative care, patients’ right to self-determination (of treatment, life), medical experimentation, the ethics and efficacy of extraordinary or hazardous medical interventions, and the ethics and efficacy even of continued routine medical interventions. In addition, end-of-life often touches upon rationing and the allocation of resources in hospitals and national medical systems. Such decisions are informed both by technical, medical considerations, economic factors as well as bioethics. In addition, end-of-life treatments are subject to considerations of patient autonomy. “Ultimately, it is still up to patients and their families to determine when to pursue aggressive treatment or withdraw life support.”

Elder Abuse (Protective Services) – is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. It is generally divided into the following categories:

  • Physical abuse is physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It includes assault, battery, and inappropriate restraint.

  • Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older person.

  • Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of violence by an intimate partner where the violence is used to exercise power and control.

  • Psychological abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other verbal or nonverbal conduct.

  • Financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an older person’s funds, property, or resources.

  • Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to fulfill his or her care giving responsibilities. Self-neglect is failure to provide for one’s own essential needs.

Elder Abuse laws relate to the neglect, abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Evaluation – focuses on making a judgment about values, numbers or performance of someone or something.  Evaluation is described as an act of passing judgement on the basis of set of standards.

Five WISHES – is a United States advance directive created by the non-profit organization Aging with Dignity. It has been described as the “living will with a heart and soul.

Geriatrics – geriatrics focuses strictly on the medical conditions and disease of the aging.

Gerontologist – A gerontologist specializes in the study of aging. They examine how the aging process affects individuals over a lifetime. Principally, gerontologists want to help the elderly age happily and successfully.

Gerontology – The word “gerontology” comes from a combination of the Greek word “geron,” meaning “old man” and the word “logia” which means “study of.” Gerontology is “the comprehensive study of aging and the problems of the aged.” OR Gerontology is the study of the social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of aging.  Gerontology is a multidisciplinary study that incorporates biology, psychology and sociology.

Medicare – Medicare is a federal health care program offering medical coverage for all Americans age 65 and older, along with younger people with disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease, a chronic kidney disease. Medicare offers eligible individuals care in four basic packages: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. These packages offer medical coverage for different situations, such as hospital treatments, prescription medicines and general health insurance.

  • Part A or hospital insurance, affords financial coverage for professional medical services at in-patient facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes. This plan also covers expenses associated with treatment in other medical areas, such as home hospice care.

  • Part B offers general medical insurance: this plan covers expenses for doctor’s visits, outpatient services, medical supplies and some preventative care.

  • Part C  Medicare Advantage Plus, combines services in Part A and Part B. This plan involves a contract with Medicare and a private company, such as a medical insurance company. This plan covers treatments at authorized facilities and with contracting physicians; in many cases, it covers medicine costs, too.

  • Plan D provides financial coverage for prescription medications; most Medicare patients combine this plan with one other for full coverage.

Hospice Care – End-of-life care through a hospice service provides medical, emotional and spiritual support to a person with a terminal condition nearing death, according to the National Institute on Aging. Hospice care uses a team that includes nurses, social workers, spiritual leaders, volunteers and the patient’s family or caregivers. The goal of end-of-life care is to provide comfort for the patient at the end of life when treatments are no longer an option.

Long Term Care Insurance policies – Unlike traditional health insurance, long-term care insurance is designed to cover long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.  Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathingdressing, or eating.  You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.

Medicaid – is a United States health care program that provides coverage to low-income American citizens. The program is federally mandated, but the implementation of it is carried out by each individual state government. 

Medi-Cal – Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. It provides medical benefits for a variety of medical procedures and services for state residents with limited income and resources. To receive Medi-Cal benefits, individuals must apply for enrollment at their local county human services agency or online at the Covered California website. Medi-Cal is supported equally by federal and local taxes.

Palliative Care – Palliative Care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptomspainphysical stress, and mental stress of the terminal diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. 

POD – Point of Death or Payable on Death- An arrangement between a bank or credit union and a client that designates beneficiaries to receive all the client’s assets. The immediate transfer of assets is triggered by the death of the client

Power of Attorney – A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document giving one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for another person (the principal). The agent can have broad legal authority or limited authority to make legal decisions about the principal’s property and finance. The power of attorney is frequently used in the event of a principal’s illness or disability, or when the principal can’t be present to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.  A person appointed as power of attorney is not necessarily an attorney. The person could just be a trusted family member, friend, or acquaintance.

Three Types:

General Power Of Attorney – general power of attorney acts on behalf of the principal in any and all matters, as allowed by the state. The agent under a general POA agreement may be authorized to take care of issues such as handling bank accounts, signing checks, selling property and assets like stocks, filing taxes, etc.

Limited Power Of Attorney – A limited power of attorney gives the agent the power to act on behalf of the principal in only specific matters or events.

Durable Power Of Attorney (DPOA) – remains in control of certain legal, property, or financial matters specifically spelled out in the agreement, even after the principal becomes mentally incapacitated.

Recommendation – is the highest honor; a testimonial; an endorsement. You have used the person or company yourself with excellent results and you are certain others have done the same.

Referral – it means you know something about the person or company and have possibly even used them yourself with good results.

Resource – is an idea and needs to come with a very clear disclaimer. As in, “I’ve heard of this person/company, but I don’t know anything about them / have never tried them myself. So be sure to check them out thoroughly before you hire them.” 

Senior Housing

  • Assisted living communities

  • Large and small communities

  • Independent living communities

  • Board and care homes

  • Adult family homes

  • Senior care homes

  • Skilled nursing facilities

Social Security – Social Security is benefits provided under the Social Security Act (1935), financed by the Social Security Tax authorized by the Federal Insurance Contributors Act (FICA) and administered by the Social Security Administration. The term usually refers to retirement income benefits, but other benefits include Social Security Disability Income Insurance Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); the Food Stamp program; Unemployment Insurance; Medicare; Medicaid; Public Assistance for the Aged, Blind and Disabled; Veterans’ Compensation and Pensions; Housing Subsidies and Public Housing; Nutritional Programs for Children; and Student Aid.

Successful Aging – is an experience governed by gender, culture, personality, and health-related factors. For some, successful aging simply means freedom from disability, while for others it is a more comprehensive assessment of life satisfaction.

Tool Box – (also called toolkit, tool chest or workbox) is a box to organize, carry, and protect the owner’stools. They could be used for trade, a hobby or do it yourself (DIY), and their contents vary with the craft of the owner.

Trust (Living) – A living trust is a document that places a person’s assets into a trust throughout his lifetime. The assets are given out to beneficiaries designated by the person who created the trust at the moment of his death. A living trust is similar to a will.

Two Types:

  • revocable living trust. This trust gives its creator the ability to transfer whatever assets he chooses into the trust. Throughout the lifetime of the grantor, the creator of the trust, he has the ability to change anything within the trust at any moment he sees fit. An important benefit of the revocable living trust is that it allows the assets to be given to beneficiaries without going through probate once the grantor has died. The downside of this trust is that it does not avoid estate taxes.

  • irrevocable living trust gives the grantor the ability to give away assets permanently. Once the assets have been given away they are no longer owned by the grantor. Because all ownership of the asset is given away on an irrevocable trust, the estate tax is potentially reduced or removed completely.

Will – A will, sometimes called a “last will and testament,” is a document that states your final wishes.   It is read by a county court after your death, and the court makes sure that your final wishes are carried out.

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