Activities of Daily Living (ADLS) – This term refers to day-to-day activities such as bathing, eating, grooming, dressing, toileting, administering medication, moving around and many other self-care or maintenance tasks associated with daily living. Wikipedia: Activities of Daily Living
Adult Day Care – Adult Day Services offer structured programs with stimulating social activities, health-related and rehabilitation services for seniors who are physically or emotionally disabled and need a protective environment during the day. Participants are usually brought to the center in the morning and leave in the evening. Resources: Find adult day care near you
Aging in Place – A concept that advocates allowing a resident to choose to remain in his/her home regardless of the physical and/or mental decline that may occur with the aging process. Resources: Ageinplace.org | Wikipedia: Aging in Place
Alzheimer’s Disease – A progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Warning Signs
Living with Alzheimer’s

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) – Passed by Congress in 1980, this law establishes a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. Resources: Wikipedia: Americans with Disabilities Act
APS (Adult Protective Services) – APSs are county or state departments where you and your staff will report all elder abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and verbal). If you have an elder care business, it is important to identify your state or county’s office, phone number and reporting procedure, to set a policy in place with your staff, and to train your caregivers on any mandatory reporting laws in your area.
Area Agencies on Aging

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s primary mission is to build the capacity of its members to help older persons and persons with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Find your local Area on Aging

Assisted Living Facility (AL) – ALs are elder care facilities that are licensed by the state to provide room/board, meals, medication management and care. Assisted living facilities are usually large, hotel-like buildings with many rooms and many common areas (dining room, game rooms, libraries, common activity areas). Many times AL facilities have a base rate per month for room/board/meals and then different levels or tiers of care. For example, Level One may be bathing three times per week and light housekeeping services one time per week. Level Two may include all of the Level One care in addition to transfer assistance to the dining room. Level Three care may include all of the Level One and Two services, in addition to assistance with continence care medication management. Most of the time these levels of care are based on a point system that coincide with all ADLs or needed activities. Once they cross over certain thresholds, they fall into a different level with additional costs to the resident. AL facilities are usually a great fit for people who are very social by nature and need lower levels of care – staffing can sometimes be one caregiver to 12-15 residents. Usually lifestyle and activities are what draw people to AL facilities. Most of the time these levels of care are based on a point system that coincide with all ADLs or needed activities. Once they cross over certain thresholds, they fall into a different level with additional costs to the resident. AL facilities are usually a great fit for people who are very social by nature and need lower levels of care – staffing can sometimes be one caregiver to 12-15 residents. Usually lifestyle and activities are what draw people to AL facilities.
Caregiver – 65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged. The word “caregiver” refers to the primary person in charge of caring for an individual with special needs, usually associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This person is usually a family member or designated healthcare professional.

Caring for Elderly Parents

Case Manager – A Case Manager is usually a RN or LCSW who manages the patient’s stay in a hospital or SNF. Many Case Managers belong to Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and can also be certified as a Certified Case Manager (CCM). It may be valuable to build a relationship with your local chapter of CMSA and even consider sponsoring meetings.
CEUsContinuing education units. A continuing education unit (CEU) is a measure used in continuing education programs to assist the professional to maintain their license.
Congregate Housing – Congregate housing is similar to Independent Living, except that it usually offers supportive services such as meals, housekeeping and transportation.
Conservator – A court-appointed, legal representative of a person no longer capable of taking care of their financial and legal responsibilities themselves.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – A community that offers several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care. These communities usually offer long-term contracts or written agreements between the resident and the community which offer a continuum of housing, services and health care system, usually all on one campus or site.
Continuum of Care  – Full spectrum of care available at Continuing Care Retirement Communities which may include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Care, Home Health, Home Care, and Home and Community Based Services. Also see Continuing Care Retirement Community.
Dementia – The severe loss of intellectual functions, such as thinking, remembering and reasoning. Dementia is not a disease itself but a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may include changes in personality, mood and behavior. Dementia is irreversible when cause by disease or injury, but may be reversible when caused by drugs, alcohol, depression or hormone and vitamin imbalances.

Alz.org: Dementia

Discharge Planners – Discharge Planners are usually either RNs or social workers (LCSWs and MSWs) responsible for discharging patients out of a hospital into either a SNF or the home environment. These discharge planners coordinate many types of goods and services including home health, DME, home care, hospice, and palliative care.
Doll Therapy – Doll therapy is a form of Alzheimer’s therapy where patients can use dolls that symbolize people. 
Dual Eligibility or Medi-Medis – These are patients that qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid programs. Many Dual Eligibles are paid for by the state Medicaid program in a Long-term Care setting and, in some states, can be reimbursed for caregiver services.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) – DME is equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, oxygen and three-in-one commodes that patients need as they are recovering at home. Medicare pays for DME that is prescribed by a doctor and falls under Medicare’s covered benefits.
Durable Power of Attorney – Designates any proficient adult(s) to see to an individual’s affairs should they become either mentally or physically incapacitated. It is imperative to keep good, clear records of such agreements and recommended that you have a lawyer draft any durable power of attorney.
Foley Catheter – A Foley catheter is a tube placed into the bladder and hooked to bag that voids urine.
G-Tube – A G-tube is a feeding tube placed in the patient’s stomach to feed the patient liquid food. Often G-tubes are put in place when the elder care patient is having difficulty swallowing.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – This act states the requirements that a long term care policy must follow in order that the premiums paid may be deducted as medical expenses and benefits not paid be considered as taxable income.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – An organized system for providing comprehensive health care in a specific geographic area to a voluntarily enrolled group of members.

Medicare.gov: HMO

Home Health Agency – Physical Therapy (PT), speech therapy (ST), occupational therapy (OT), Social Worker (SW) or skilled nursing care are provided by home health agencies in the client’s home. To qualify, this requires a physicians order and medical reason, but does not require a three-day hospital stay. Medicare pays for these services as long as the homebound patient has a medical need to be seen in the home. Medicare pays for these services as long as the homebound patient has a medical need to be seen in the home. Note: Home Health visits are anywhere from half an hour to one and a half hours, and are for a finite amount of time depending on diagnosis (i.e. two to three visits per week for three to five weeks). Home health visits are focused on medical need and do not cover a caregiver for heavy custodial care needs.
Hospice – Hospice focuses on managing the medical needs and comfort of those who have been diagnosed with life-threatening diagnosis such as cancer, dementia, COPD, CHF, end-stage heart or lung disease or even failure to thrive marked by progressive decline in nutritional intake, functions, weight loss or sudden disorientation. Medicare pays for all hospice services rendered and can include the following resources to assist families: 

Social worker
Hospice aide To qualify, a physician must make clinical determination that life expectancy is less than six months.
Note: Hospice visits are usually intermittent and not intended to be used as main source of custodial or non-medical elder care. Families or hired caregivers are used to provide extended custodial care such as bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning or companion services.

Hospital – Acute hospital care is defined as necessary treatment of a disease or injury requiring continuous management in a hospital setting. Medicare reimburses for an acute care hospitalization for both diagnosis and treatment.
Hospitalists – Hospitalists are doctors who work exclusively in hospitals and manage patient care as they transition though the hospital. These are usually contracted groups of doctors who specialize in critical care hospital-based care situations.
Hoyer Lift – A Hoyer lift is used to lift someone out of bed and then lowers him or her elsewhere, and vice versa. These are mainly used for those who are non-ambulatory and needs total assistance.
Independent Living Facility (IL) – ILs are apartment complexes that allow seniors to live independently with structured activities they can choose to participate in with others their age. Usually there is no care provided. In some ILs meals are offered to residents and in others they are not. ILs are paid for out-of-pocket and are usually the least expensive of any private pay option, but have limited care options for those who need assistance.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLS) – Unlike Activities of Daily Living, which are necessary for fundamental functioning, IADLs are not necessary and are the activities that let an individual live independently in a community, such as transportation and paying bills. Wikipedia: Instrumental ADLS
Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) – Insurance that pays for a succession of caregiving services for the elderly or chronically ill. This care may be provided in a community or in an individual’s home with a nurse or aide.
Licensed vocational nurse (LVN) – is a job title specific to Texas and California. Licensed vocational nurses are known as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in all other states. LVNs and LPNs work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians, providing basic bedside care to patients.
Managed Care Organization (MCO) – An MCO is an organization that sets up networks of contracts with doctors, hospitals, SNFs and home health agencies, and bundles those contracts together to provide a discounted bundled offering of health care services.
Medicaid – Medicaid is a Federal program run by each state and provides care for low income and certain disabled people. States usually set criteria for coverage and determine eligibility. Some states have Medicaid waiver programs that will reimburse for caregiver services and most also pay for long term patients to stay in SNF settings once they have no income to pay for other forms of care. It is important to find out if your state has a Medicaid waiver program that pays for elder care services or adult family home placement.
Medical Director – A staff medical director assumes overall responsibility for the formulation and implementation of all policies related to medical care. The medical director also coordinates with an individual’s personal physician to ensure that the facility delivers the care that is prescribed. In some instances, the medical director may be a resident’s primary physician.

Wikipedia.org: Medical Director

Medicare – Medicare is a Federal health insurance program run by the Federal government and primarily covers people over the age of 65 (some Medicare recipients are under 65, but are disabled). Medicare benefits are either administered through its own system called Fee For Service (FFS) Medicare or through a Medicare Advantage plan run by a Managed Care Organization (MCO). The best way to determine how a patient is covered is to ask if they have a Medicare card issued by Medicare or a card issued by their MCO who administers the benefit. Medicare is broken into four sections:
ADMINISTRATION ON AGING (AOA) – The AoA is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Administration educates the elderly and family members about benefits and services available to them. 
Board and Care (B&C) – These are homes in residential neighborhoods that are retrofitted for elder care. Many times these homes have capacity and licensing through your state to care for up to six seniors. Most provide one caregiver per three residents (two for six). These homes usually have an all inclusive fee structure and include room, board, meals and care in the monthly cost.
Convalescent Home – A convalescent home is generally where a patient can recover from an illness or injury with short-term care and then return home.
Home Health Care Same as Home Health Agency – Provision of medical and nursing services from licensed providers and professionals in an individual’s own home.
Independent Physicians Association (IPA) – An IPA is a group of doctors who have banded together to contract with hospitals or MCOs. In some cases, IPAs are now combining with hospitals, SNFs, and home health agencies to bolster their negotiating power with MCOs. In some mature markets, IPAs are even looking to contract and become direct providers with Medicare as ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations).
Green House Project – The Green House Project is a non-profit focusing on environmentally-friendly and sustainable assisted living housing. Resource: Green House Project: The Next Big Thing in Long-Term Care
Life Care Community – A Continuing Care Retirement Community that offers an insurance type contract and provides all levels of care. It often includes payment for acute car and physician visits. Little or no change is made in monthly fees, regardless of the level of medical care required by the resident. The only fees that might change are the actual cost of living expenses.
Living Will – A written, legal document that states the wishes of an individual regarding life saving devices and procedures in the event of a terminal illness or injury and is no longer competent and able to make decisions on their own.

Wikipedia: Advance Health Care Directive

Long-Term Custodial – Long-term custodial care focuses on the long-term care of seniors and includes bathing, dressing, feeding and other activities of daily living. These services are not paid by Medicare, but can be paid by Medicaid if patient qualifies or can be paid for privately.
Medicare Part A – The first program instituted. Covers hospital stays.
Medicare Part B – The second part of the program implement and covers doctor, SNF, home health and DME care.
Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage – This section of the Medicare program comes into play when a Managed Care Organization bundles all Part A and B services into one offering, and sells it as an all inclusive Medicare offering. The government instituted Part C as a way to try to control the rising costs that were occurring in a government run program. In Part C the Federal government pays a set amount per month to a MCO through a network of contracts with hospitals and doctors who manage that pool of money. Because MCO’s have been able to set up contracts with hospital groups and doctor groups, they have been able to manage the Medicare patients with cost savings.
Medicare Part D – This section of the Medicare plane encompasses prescription drug coverage and can either be stand-alone drug coverage for Medicare Fee for Service (FFS) or combined with a Medicare Part C plan. Medicare’s FFS is when Medicare beneficiaries choose to run their Medicare benefit directly through Medicare for Part A and B, and do not sign up for a MCO under Part C.
Medication Management / Medication Administration Formalized procedure with a written set of rules for the management of self-administered medicine. A program may include management of the timing and dosage for residents in assisted living, and could include coordination with a resident’s personal physician.
Medigap Insurance / Medicare Supplemental Insurance Private health insurance policies that supplement Medicare coverage, covering health care costs above those covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Does not provide benefits for long term care, covering primarily hospital and doctor bills.

Medicare.gov: Choosing A Medigap Policy Guide
Medicare.gov: Find a Medigap Policy in Your Area
Medicare.gov: What’s Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance?

MONTESSORI METHOD OF ALZHEIMER’S – This therapy for dementia involves creating lessons and activities specifically designed to engage the senses.
National Private Duty Association of America (NPDA) – The NPDA is one of the most well-known trade organizations for private duty home care (elder care) companies. It may be beneficial to join a chapter in your local marker to provide credibility.
Non-Medical Home Care, Caregiver or Custodial Care Services – Caregiving services are focused on providing non-medical custodial services including cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, continence care, light housekeeping and companionship. This type of care is paid for out-of-pocket through long-term care insurance policies or through the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Provides personal care to residents, including bathing, dressing and toileting. Must be trained, tested and certified to provide care in nursing facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Nurse assistants typically work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse.

Nursing Home (SNF)

Facility licensed by the state that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. May be referred to as Nursing Facility or Convalescent Home. See also Skilled Nursing Facility.

Wikipedia: Nursing Home

Nurse practitioner (NP) – is a registered nurse (RN) who has additional education and training in a specialty area, such as family practice or pediatrics. Pediatric and family practice NPs can provide regular health care for kids. … answer questions about health problems. treat common childhood illnesses.
Occupational Therapy A creative activity prescribed for its effect in promoting recovery or rehabilitation. This is done to help individuals relearn activities of daily living and is generally administered by a licensed therapist.

Wikipedia: Occupational Therapy

Palliative Care – This type of elder care focuses on the medical care for those diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, similar to hospice. The main difference of palliative care from hospice is that there is no definite life expectancy needed to enter into palliative care programs. Hospice requires less than six months life expectancy.

Most palliative care programs are reimbursed under the Hospice Medicare Reimbursement with little to no out-of-pocket costs to families who receive these medical services.

Person-centered Assisted Living or Dementia Care – The domains of the operational framework of person-centered assisted living include:

Person-centered core values of personhood, respect and dignity, autonomy, choice and independence, and privacy
Relationships and a sense of belonging (community)
Governance (ownership, board of directors)
Workforce practices
Meaningful life and engagement

Placement Services – This website provides complementary assistance to those looking for the best environment for their loved ones. Placement services refer people to different AL, IL, B&C homes or home care companies depending on their budget and care needs. It’s important to work with a placement company that actually drives you around and shows you the different places they recommend so you can make an educated decision.
Private Duty – Private duty refers to private pay services. Most people who work in the elder care market refer to home care companies as private duty companies. It really refers to the fact that most home care/private duty services are paid for privately and out-of-pocket. Private duty is not limited to non-medical home care companies, as there are also some private duty skilled providers.
Purpose Built Community Purpose built communities are tailored to individual community needs. The model is run by a non-profit, Purpose Built Communities.
RCFE Administrator – Assisted living administrators manage, outline and coordinate services geared toward older adults who may require assistance with eating, bathing, taking medication and other basic functions. They oversee the day-to-day operations of the assisted living facilities and ensure that all staff are providing the best service possible. Administrators supervise all security, transportation and monitoring needs at their location.
RCFE License – License required to become a California certified Administrator in a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE)
RCFE Live CEUs – Classes for continuing education units that are required to be taken in an in-person classroom format
RCFE Online CEUs – Classes for continuing education units that can be taken online
Rehabilitation -Therapeutic care for persons requiring intensive physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
Reminiscence Therapy – Reminiscence therapy is defined by the American Psychological Association as “the use of life histories to improve psychological well-being. Wikipedia: Reminiscence therapy
Residential Care Facility for Elderly (RCFE) – RCFEs (AL AND B&C) are licensed elder care facilities. In the state of California, this is a broad term used to cover any licensed elder care facility. Assisted living, board and care, memory care and, in some cases, independent living facilities fall under the RCFE classification.
Residential Care Homes (RCFE/BOARD AND CARE) – Residential care homes offer personalized service to small groups of adults. These homes provide lodging, meal services and assistance with daily living activities. Other terms include adult family homes, board and care homes, or personal care homes. Resources: Find a residential care home near you
Residents’ Rights – Legal rights granted by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, which requires nursing homes to promote and protect the rights of each resident. Specific rights vary by state, but include dignity, medical privacy, and visitation rights.
Respite Care – Temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days. May be provided in-home or in a residential care setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Sandwich Generation – The Sandwich generation refers to those who care for their aging parents while caring their own children. 
Senior Apartments – Senior apartments refer to age-restricted multi-unit housing with self-contained living units for older adults, usually aged 55+ who are able to care for themselves. Senior apartments do not offer additional services such as meals or transportation. Find Senior Apartments Near You
Senior Move Manager – Senior Move Managers are professionals specializing in helping with the transition from a long-time home into senior living. Their membership organization is the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
Sensory Integration Therapy – Sensory integration therapy treats Sensory Integration Disorder (also called Sensory Processing Disorder), a condition when we our sensory inputs are not processed correctly.
“Sniff” Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – A SNF is a facility that provides both short-term rehabilitation services and long-term custodial services. SNFs are also referred to as nursing homes or rehab centers. Medicare pays for SNF stays as long as it is preceded by a three-day hospitalization and the patient meets criteria for rehab. As soon as a senior patient stops meeting criteria for rehab (usually because they have either plateaued, met treatment goals or start to decline in function), they are no longer eligible for Medicare reimbursement and are discharged. Medicare regulations note this is up to 100 days, but that is not always the case. Most Medicare patients meet criteria to be discharged well before day 40 and, if a Medicare Part C patient is receiving care through an MCO, they usually are discharged around day 14.