There 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