Resources at Hebrew SeniorLife

Glossary

Acute illness - an illness with an abrupt onset and usually a short course.

Adult day health care - a program that provides health and social services to assist physically and mentally impaired adults to remain living in the community.

Advanced directive - any document that specifies what kind of treatment an individual would want in the event of a major illness or injury.

Assisted living facility - a residence for people needing assistance with activities of daily living but who want to remain living independently for as long as possible.

Chronic illness - an illness that persists for a long period of time.

Continuing care retirement community (CCRC) - a full-service community offering a long-term contract that provides for a continuum of care, including retirement, assisted living and nursing services, all on one campus.

Dementia - a usually progressive condition marked by deteriorated cognitive function often with emotional apathy.

Health-care proxy - a legal document giving a trusted advisor, also called an agent, the responsibility for making medical decisions for an individual who has become incapacitated.

Home health care - a program that provides care to individuals in their place of residence to promote, maintain or restore health or for minimizing the effects of disability or illness.

Instructional directive - a statement indicating which specific medical interventions (e.g., ventilator, feeding tube, dialysis) an individual would find acceptable in particular medical situations, such as irreversible coma or advanced dementia.

Living will - a general statement about an individual's approach to medical care, usually indicating that they don't want "heroic" measures taken if death is imminent.

Long-term acute care hospital - a facility that provides diagnostic and medical treatment or rehabilitation to patients with chronic illness or complex medical conditions whose average length of stay exceeds 25 days.

Long-term care - a variety of services, including medical and non-medical care, for people who have a chronic illness or disability.

Medicare - a federal program that pays for certain health-care expenses for people 65 years of age or older.

Medicaid - a program, funded by federal and state governments, that pays for medical care for people who cannot afford to pay on their own.

Nursing home - privately operated establishment that provides personal or nursing care for individuals, such as the elderly or chronically ill, who cannot care for themselves.

Post-acute care - a level of medical care designed to improve the transition from the hospital to the community.

Rehabilitation - the process of restoring skills for a person who has had an illness or injury so as to regain maximum self-sufficiency and function in a normal or as near normal a manner as possible.

Senior citizen - an elderly person, usually over age 65.

Senior supportive housing - housing that addresses the social needs of senior residents, with central communal areas and on-site supportive services to encourage independent living.

Skilled nursing facility - a nursing facility with staff and equipment to provide skilled nursing (a level of care that includes services provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse) and/or skilled rehabilitation therapists.

Sub-acute care - a level of medical care for patients requiring diagnostic or invasive procedures but not the intensive level of care provided by an acute care facility.

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