Home Healthcare Terms to Know: A-L

April 25, 2014

If you are exploring options for your loved one’s home healthcare, it is important that you are able to recognize the technical and medical terms being thrown around. The following list contains vital information in assisting you with your search for high-quality, comprehensive care.

home healthcare terms to know

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) – everyday functions that people tend to do without needing assistance. Examples of ADLs include: eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and transferring (walking/mobility). Home care professionals, including personal care assistants, are available to assist patients with daily living tasks.

Acute Care – short-term care provided to a patient for injury, illness, urgent medical condition or recovering from surgery. Acute care is generally provided in a hospital, emergency department, surgery center, urgent care, or other short-term care facilities.

Advanced Directives – written documents that state your wishes for medical treatment if one loses their ability to communicate or make decisions.

Area Agency on Aging – a network of agencies comprised of a network of state and local programs whose purpose is to develop and manage social and health services for older adults and their caregivers. The goal is to keep seniors livingly independently. Find your local AOA today.

Assisted Living Facility – housing facilities for individuals who wish to live independently but may require supervision, assistance with activities of daily living or monitoring ensure health and safety. Many home healthcare providers partner with assisted living facilities to provide services to residents.

Caregiver – home health caregivers range from registered nurses providing skilled nursing services to home health aides who assist with activities of daily living to family caregivers who meet the additional needs of a loved one.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for the administration of healthcare programs, standards and facilities.

Chronic Disease – a long lasting condition that can be controlled but typically not cured. Chronic conditions may require supervision, rehabilitation, observation or nursing care. Chronic diseases include Diabetes, Chronic Heart Disease, Hypertension, Pulmonary disease, etc. Home healthcare organizations offer skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapy services for individuals living with chronic disease. Learn more at: Chronic Disease Management

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) –medical equipment used in a patient’s home to improve their quality of life. Equipment can include walkers, canes, wheelchairs, hospital beds, etc. If the patient would benefit from the use of DME, contact your home care provider to discuss equipment and payment options.

Elder Care – provided to meet the needs of the elderly population in the home, and in the community. Services include healthcare, skilled nursing and rehab therapy, personal care, and social services

Homebound – Medicare considers a patient to be homebound when: leaving the home isn’t recommended because of the patient’s condition; the patient is unable to leave without assistance from another individuals or a device (cane, walker, wheelchair or ramp); or it takes a considerable and taxing effort for the patient to leave their home.

Learn more at: What is Medicare Homebound Status?

Home Healthcare – providing care in a patient’s home, services range from skilled nursing care, rehabilitation therapy including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to mental health services. Home healthcare ordered by a physician and allows patients to remain independent in their own home. Learn more at: Home Healthcare

Home Health Aide – home healthcare professionals who provide assistance with personal care, activities of daily living, and supplement care. Home health aide services are covered by Medicare if the patient is also receiving skilled nursing or therapy services.

Hospice – provided to terminally ill patients and families. Services include pain and symptom management, art and massage therapy, patient and caregiver education, and spiritual and bereavement services. Learn more at: Hospice

Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio offers a wide array of home health and hospice services to meet the needs of every patient and family. If you are exploring options, VNA of Ohio Intake Admissions Nurses are available to discuss you and your loved one’s situation, needs, and care options.

Call VNA of Ohio Today

Learn more about VNA of Ohio home healthcare services, or call us today at 1-877-698-6264.

Posted in: Caregiver Resources, Home Healthcare, Hospice

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