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Nursing Homes Abuse Blog By Jonathan Rosenfeld

Common Terms

Terms that are foundThere are a number of common terms that you have to know when reading up about elder care and elder abuse. We understand that some of these terms may seem confusing for readers, so we want to take a moment and clarify a few of the most important ones that you may come across several times.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) – The physical functions that a person goes through every day. This includes transferring into and out of bed, walking or wheeling, going to the bathroom, eating, getting dressed, and bathing.

Acute – This means that a severe condition starts without warning.

Advanced directives – A written statement for a person’s guidelines and preferences regarding their personal health care. This can help protect a person’s right in the event that he or she is physically or mentally unable to communicate or indicate their wishes.

Assessment – This is an evaluation of the care needs for that particular resident. This is based on a formal, structured evaluation of the psychological and physical condition of the patient, also taking into account their ability to perform ADL.

Caregiver – This refers to any individual who takes care of an elderly patient or an individual with mental or physical limitations.

Chronic – This refers to a prolonged, lingering, or lasting symptom or illness.

Conservator – This person appointed by the court is going to function as the legal representative of an individual who is physically or mentally incapable of managing his or her own affairs.

Co-morbidities – Multiple disease processes.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) – As defined by Medicare, this means that the equipment is 1) appropriate for use in the home, 2) generally not useful to a person without an illness or injury, 3) primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, and 4) able to withstand repeated use.

Geriatrics – The name for the medicine branch that provides elderly health care and works on the treatment of diseases commonly associated with the aging process.

Guardianship – this extreme measure severely restricts an elderly patient’s legal rights. This is done when a court finds the individual legally incompetent. At this point, another person is assigned the responsibility of handling the elderly patient’s legal affairs.

Hospice care – This is care provided to allow a dying person a better quality of life. Though primarily provided in the home by healthcare professionals, today many acute care settings and nursing facilities also offer hospice services. This emphasizes counseling and comfort measures to give physical, spiritual, and social support for the patient and his or her family.

Long Term Care (LTC) – A broad spectrum of support and medical services offered to an individual who has lost some or all of their capacity to function, oftentimes because of a chronic condition or illness. These patients are expected to need these services for a prolonged time. This may consist of family members who are assisted by employed or voluntary help, care in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities, or adult day health care.

Sub-acute Care – A level of care for a person who has experienced an acute event because of illness. This person is in need of rehabilitation or skilled nursing but does not require the invasive diagnostic or intensive diagnostic procedures of a hospital. This is typically short-term care with the end-goal being that the patient returns home with their maximum level of function.

Lawyers Assisting Patients & Families In Nursing Home Negligence Cases

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is an established nursing home negligence law firm who is not afraid to take on large operators when their actions result in an injury or fatality to one of their patients. If you have questions about a specific circumstance and with to speak to an attorney who has dealt with similar situations, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your circumstance without cost or obligation on your end. Please use the contact form here or call us toll-free at (888) 424-5757

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Ban Lifted on Nursing Home: Despite Numerous Violations, State Says Issues are “Corrected”

Posted in Common Terms

Five days after it banned new patients from entering the Bristol Nursing Home in Bristol, TN, the state Health Department decided the facility was “in compliance” and could accept residents again. “[Conditions leading to] ‘immediate jeopardy’ citations have been corrected,” said the Health Department’s announcement, in late April. “Immediate Jeopardy” situations are “crisis” situations in… Continue Reading

What Is Hypostatic Blood Pressure & Why Is There An Associated ‘Fall Risk’?

Posted in Common Terms, Frequently Asked Questions, Nursing Home Falls

  Too we look to environmental causes of falls….cluttered hallways…improperly footwear…yet in many fall-related situations the real ’cause’ of the fall lies within the person herself… Hypotension (low blood pressure) is a problem for many nursing home residents, causing dizziness and fainting. Blood pressure readings measure the pressure in arteries – systolic pressure (the top… Continue Reading

Incontinence Amongst The Nursing Home Population

Posted in Bed Sores, Pressure Sores, Decubitus Ulcers & Pressure Ulcers, Common Terms

My office was recently retained by the family of a woman who developed pressure sores on her buttocks and vagina in a Chicago nursing home.  When asked, the family was unsure if their loved one was technically ‘incontinent’.  After reviewing the woman’s chart, it was obvious that the woman was incontinent and the nursing home… Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations For Bringing A Nursing Home Lawsuit

Posted in Common Terms, Frequently Asked Questions

“How long do I have to bring a case against a negligent nursing home?” The answer depends on where the incident took place.  The time to bring a lawsuit against the a nursing home is governed by the statute of limitations where the incident occurred.  Most states have specific statute of limitations for personal injury… Continue Reading

Wrongful Death

Posted in Common Terms, Wrongful Death

I have used the term ‘wrongful death’ in many posts and was asked recently: What exactly does wrongful death consist of?   ‘Wrongful death’ is usually associated with a legal cause of action on behalf of the person who died but also on behalf of the people close to the deceased who depended on the… Continue Reading

Power Of Attorney For Healthcare

Posted in Chicago Nursing Homes & Other Communities Within Illinois, Common Terms

Most people use Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney for Healthcare interchangeably.  A Power of Attorney delegates who you wish to make healthcare decisions should you become unable to do so.  You may specify what life extending procedures, if any, you desire.  You may further specify the dates which the Power of Attorney is… Continue Reading


Posted in Bed Sores, Pressure Sores, Decubitus Ulcers & Pressure Ulcers, Common Terms, Infections In Nursing Homes

‘Sepsis’ is a bacterial infection in the bloodstream or body tissues commonly found in people with advanced bed sores (also referred to as pressure ulcer, decubitus ulcer or pressure ulcer).  In order to make a diagnosis of sepsis, at least two of the following must occur: a heart rate above 90 beats per minute, hyperventilation… Continue Reading

Do-Not-Resuscitate Order / DNR

Posted in Common Terms

End of life decisions are a difficult and often awkward decision for people to make.  However, an open discussion on the subject will provide immediate family members with the ability to make informed decisions when they need to. A DNR order does not give a nursing home the right to withhold medical treatment.  Similarly, if… Continue Reading

Power Of Attorney For Property

Posted in Common Terms

Many people do not want to think about the future.  They cringe to think about the days when they are old and are unable to care for themselves.  Most of us do not want to even consider the reality that we may not be able to make decisions for ourselves.  I frequently have family members… Continue Reading

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Posted in Common Terms

Definition: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow to the head that results in a disruption of the normal brain functioning. TBI’s may range from a brief change in cognitive functioning to an extended period of unconsciousness. (Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control) TBI’s are some of the more common injuries sustained… Continue Reading

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