Glossary


Acute
A sudden and severe condition.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Physical functions that an individual performs each day. These can include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking or wheeling, and transferring into and out of bed.

Administration on Aging (AOA)
An agency of the U.S. Department of Health Services. AOA is an advocacy agency for older persons and their concerns at the federal level. AOA works closely with its nationwide network of State and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).

Advanced Directives
A written statement of an individual’s preferences and directions regarding health care. Advanced Directives protect a person’s rights if they are mentally or physically unable to choose or communicate their wishes.

Assessment
Determination of a resident’s care needs based upon a formal structured evaluation, or the resident’s physical and psychological condition, and ability to perform activities of daily living.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS is an element of the Department of Health and Human Services, which finances and administers Medicare and Medicaid programs along with other responsibilities. CMS establishes standards for the operation of nursing facilities that receive funds under the Medicaid or Medicare programs.

Durable Power of Attorney (DPA)
A legal document in which a competent person gives another person the ability to make decisions for them if they are unable to make those decisions. A DPA can include guidelines to follow in making decisions on behalf of an incompetent person.

Dual Eligible
Someone who is qualified for both Medicaid and Medicare.

Health Care Power of Attorney
The appointment of a health care agent to make decisions when the patient is deemed incompetent by a physician to make or communicate decisions.

Hospice
Hospice/palliative care is provided to enhance the life of a dying person. Hospice care is typically offered in the last 6 months of life to emphasize comfort measures and counseling to help provide social, spiritual, and physical support to the dying patient and their family.

Living Will
A legal document in which a competent person directs in advance that artificial life-prolonging treatment not be used or be used if the patient has or develops a terminal or irreversible condition and becomes incompetent to make health care decisions.

Medicaid
The federally supported, state operated, public assistance program that pays for some health services to people with low income including the elderly and persons with disabilities that qualify. Medicaid pays for long-term nursing care, some limited home health services, and some assisted living services depending on the state.

Medicare
A federal program providing primary skilled medical care and medical insurance for people aged 65 and older, some younger people with disabilities, and those with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or a transplant).

Medicare Part A
Hospital insurance that helps pay for impatient hospital care, limited skilled nursing care, hospice care, and some home health care.

Medicare Part B
Medical insurance that helps pay for doctor’s services, impatient hospital care, and some medical services that Part A does not cover (such as some home health care). Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary. A monthly premium must be paid to receive Part B.

Ombudsman 
A public/government/community supported program that advocates for the rights of all residents in 24-hour long-term care facilities.

Private Pay Patients
Patients who pay for their own care, whose care is paid for by their family, or paid for by another private third party, such as an insurance company.

Power of Attorney
A legal document allowing one person to act in a legal manner on another’s behalf pursuant to financial or real-estate transactions.

Pre-Admission Screening
An assessment of a person’s functional, social, and medical needs to help determine if the person should be admitted to the nursing facility or other community based on services available to eligible Medicaid recipients.

Resident Care Plan
A written plan of care for facility residents developed by an interdisciplinary team which specifies measurable objectives and timetables for services to meet resident’s needs.

Respite Care
Scheduled short-term nursing facility care provided on a temporary basis to an individual who needs a higher level of care than the rest of the facility.

Skilled Nursing Care 
Nursing and rehabilitative care that can be performed only by or under the supervision of licensed and skilled medical personnel.


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