Glossary

Home Care Agencies – provide assistance with bathing, grooming, transferring, preparing meals, homemaking, companion sitting and respite. They may also include running errands and monitoring one’s daily prescription medications. These agencies accept private pay and Medicare does not cover.

Home Health Agencies
– are usually Medicare-certified and provide skilled nursing with a doctors order. They also offer occupational, physical and speech therapy. They sometimes offer private pay services.

Independent Living Facilities – are designed for independent living in private apartments. Usually limited housekeeping is provided and a dining meal plan is available. These facilities usually provide a range of social activities.

Subsidized housing is government housing available to low-income people through three major programs: public housing, Section 8 and Section 202

Public Housing is low-cost housing in multi-unit complexes that is available to low-income families, including the elderly and disabled, typically requiring tenants to pay no more than 30 percent of their monthly income for rent. This housing application process is available to those who do not exceed the published income levels.

Section 8 housing allows very low-income families including elderly and disabled to choose where they want to live, subject to HUD standards, by providing rental certificates that limit tenants’ rent to 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income. Very low-income families with incomes not exceeding 50 percent of the median income for the area are eligible.

Section 202 housingis senior citizen housing usually with supportive services such as meals, transportation and accommodations for the disabled.  Occupancy is open to the disabled and to very low-income households with at least one person who is 62 years of age or older.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). Offer multiple levels of care (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care) in different areas of the same community or campus and give residents the opportunity to remain in the same community if their needs change. They provide residential services such as meals, housekeeping and laundry, social and recreational services, health care services, personal care and nursing care. They require a monthly fee in addition to a substantial entrance fee. Sometimes a percentage of that entrance fee is returned if the person leaves the facility or is given to the estate.

Assisted Living Facilities – are designed for people who are not capable of living independently and need some form of assistance such as bathing, dressing, eating, medication reminders but who do not need intensive medical and nursing care. Some facilities offer accommodations for Alzheimer’s patients in secure section to prevent wandering. These facilities may be known by different names in different states such as residential care, board and care, congregate care or personal care homes.

Nursing Homes or Skilled Nursing Facilities are licensed by the state to offer residents personal care as well as skilled nursing care on a 24-hour basis. People recovering from certain illnesses or limb replacements receive therapy in the acute rehabilitation unit. People who are bed-bound or completely unable to take care of themselves and are deemed nursing home-eligible live in the long-term care section. Medicare pays for limited amounts of acute rehabilitation but Medicare does not pay for long-term custodial care.

Post-Acute Care(also called subacute care or transitional care) is a type of short-term care provided by many long-term care facilities and hospitals which may include rehabilitation services, specialized care for certain conditions (such as stroke and diabetes) and post-surgical care and other services associated with the transition between the hospital and home. Residents on these units often have been hospitalized recently and typically have more complicated medical needs. The goal of subacute care is to discharge residents to their homes or to a lower level of care.

Adult Day Programs - full or half day programs that provide care and companionship for people who need assistance or supervision during the day. The program offers relief to family members or caregivers and allows them the freedom to go to work, handle personal business or just get some relief from caregiving.

Senior Centers - Provide a variety of programs for older adults including recreation, socialization, and congregate meals. Some centers can transport local residents.

Geriatric Care Managers are professionals who come from various professional backgrounds such as masters' level social workers or registered nurses and work primarily with elderly people and their families. They are very knowledgeable with resources in a community. They usually offer comprehensive assessments of the older person's situation and make recommendations for care based on their findings. They are able to assist with help, find services and monitor the situation over long periods of time.

Hospice provides palliative and supportive care for terminally ill patients and their families.It combines pain control, symptom management and emotional and spiritual support. Hospice care can be provided in the home, a hospital, assisted living facility or long-term care facility. There are also in-patient hospice facilities.

Respite Care designed to provide relief to the primary caregiver. It gives family caregivers the break they need and  also ensures that their elderly loved ones are still receiving the attention they need. It may come in the form of home care services, adult day care programs, weekend respite at an assisted living facility or volunteer respite assistance.

ADL (Activities of Daily Living)  basic activities that include bathing, dressing, mobility, transferring from bed to chair, and using the toilet. ADLs are used to measure how dependent a person may be on requiring asistance in performing any of these activities.

IADL'S (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) are household/independent living tasks which include using the telphone, taking medications, managing money, doing housework, preparing meals, doing laundry and shopping for groceries .

Estate Recovery – By law, states are required to recover funds from certain deceased Medicaid recipients estates up to the amount spent by the state for all Medicaid services (for example, nursing facilities, home and community-based services, hospital and prescription costs).

Long-term Care Ombudsman is designated by a state responsible for investigating and resolving complaints made by or for individuals residing in long term care facilities. They are also responsible for monitoring federal and state policies that relate to long-term care facilities, for providing information to the public about the problems of older people in facilities, and for training volunteers to help in the ombudsman program.

Medicaid (Title XIX) is a Federal and state-funded program of medical assistance to low-income individuals of all ages. There are income eligibility requirements for Medicaid.

Medicare(Title XVIII)  is a Federal health insurance program for persons age 65 and over (and certain disabled persons under age 65). It consists of two parts: Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (optionsl medical insurance which covers physician's services and outpatient care in part and which requires beneficiaries to pay a monthly premium)

Spousal Impoverishment  is the term used to refer to Federal regulations that preserve some income and assets for the spouse of a nursing home resident whose stay is covered by Medicaid.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income)  is a program of support for low-income aged, blind and disabled persons. It was established by Title XVI of the Social Security Act.