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A

  • Active Listening

    Active listening is a skill that can be acquired and developed with practice. ‘Active listening’;
    means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully concentrating on what is being said
    rather than just passively ‘hearing’; the message of the speaker. Active listening involves
    listening with all senses.

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

    Daily functions such as getting dressed, eating, taking a shower or bath, going to the bathroom, getting into a bed or chair, or
    walking from place to place. The amount of help a person needs with ADLs is often used as a measure to determine whether he or she meets the requirements for long-term care services in a nursing home as well as
    government subsidized home-and community-based services. (Also see Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.)

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

    Daily functions such as getting dressed, eating, taking a shower or bath, going to the bathroom, getting into a bed or chair, or walking from place to place. The amount of help a person needs with ADLs is often used as a measure to determine whether he or she meets the requirements for long-term care services in a nursing home as well as government subsidized home-and community-based services. (Also see Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.)

  • Acute Care

    Medical care for health problems that are new, quickly get worse, or result from a recent accident. Acute care has recovery as its primary goal, typically requires the services of a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nurse, or other skilled professional, and is usually short-term. It is usually provided in a doctor’s office, a clinic, or a hospital.

  • Acute Care

    Medical care for health problems that are new, quickly get worse, or result from a recent accident. Acute care has recovery as its primary goal, typically requires the services of a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nurse, or other skilled professional, and is usually short-term. It is usually provided in a doctor’s office, a clinic, or a hospital.

  • Adult Day Services

    Community-based programs that provide meals and structured activities for people with cognitive or functional impairments, as well as adults needing social interaction and a place to go when their family caregivers are at work. (See also Respite.)

  • Adult Day Services

    Community-based programs that provide meals and structured activities for people with cognitive or functional impairments, as well as adults needing social interaction and a place to go when their family caregivers are at work. (See also Respite.)

  • Advance Directive

    Legal documents that allow you to plan and make your own end-of-life wishes about health care and treatment known in the event that you are unable to communicate. Advance directives consist of (1) a living will and (2) a medical (health care) power of attorney, sometimes called “health care surrogate,” depending on the state. (See Living Will and Medical Power of  Attorney).

    You can create a living will and medical power of attorney form without a lawyer. However, it is very important that you use advance directive forms specifically created for your state so that they are legal. Caring Connections (www.caringinfo.org) provides free advance directives and instructions for each state.

  • Advance Directive

    Legal documents that allow you to plan and make your own end-of-life wishes about health care and treatment known in the event that you are unable to communicate. Advance directives consist of (1) a living will and (2) a medical (health care) power of attorney, sometimes called “health care surrogate,” depending on the state. (See Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney). You can create a living will and medical power of attorney form without a lawyer. However, it is very important that you use advance directive forms specifically created for your state so that they are legal. Caring Connections (www.caringinfo.org) provides free advance directives and instructions for each state.

  • Advance Practice Nurse (APN)

    These are registered nurses with specialized edu-cation and training beyond the basic registered nurse level. Some are called clinical nurse specialists, and some are called nurse practitioners. (See Nurse Practitioner.)

  • Advance Practice Nurse (APN)

    These are registered nurses with specialized edu- cation and training beyond the basic registered nurse level. Some are called clinical nurse specialists, and some are called nurse practitioners. (See Nurse Practitioner.) Alzheimer’s Disease: A progressive, degenerative form of dementia that causes severe intellectual deterioration. The first symptoms are impaired memory, followed by impaired thought and speech, an inability to care for oneself and, eventually, death. Onset can be associated with or preceded by depression.

  • Alzheimer’s disease

    Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate)
    and die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in
    thinking, behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently.
    The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease
    progresses, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose
    the ability to carry out everyday tasks. (Mayo Clinic.com)

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

    A progressive, degenerative form of dementia that causes severe intellectual deterioration. The first symptoms are impaired memory, followed by impaired thought and speech, an inability to care for oneself and, eventually, death. Onset can be associated with or preceded by depression.

  • Amyloid beta (Aβ or Abeta)

     Amyloid beta is a normal protein peptide in the human brain, but these particles are chemically “sticky” and gradually build up into plaques, or tough fibril-like structures called amyloid plaques in the brains of people developing Alzheimer's disease. The small clumps may block cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. They may also activate immune system cells that trigger inflammation in the brain.  Because amyloid beta starts to accumulate in the brain decades before the onset of dementia, ADRC researchers see a window of opportunity to leverage lifestyle changes or new medications to intervene in this early disease process.  Clinical trial efforts  are underway, at sites such as the ADRC, to test the efficacy of drugs to remove or prevent amyloid beta buildup, and their potential to reduce or delay the onset of cognitive impairment.

  • Amyloid beta (Aβ or Abeta)

    Amyloid beta is a normal protein peptide in the human brain, but these particles are chemically “sticky” and gradually build up into plaques, or tough fibril-like structures called amyloid plaques in the brains of people developing Alzheimer’s disease. The small clumps may block cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. They may also activate immune system cells that trigger inflammation in the brain.

    Because amyloid beta starts to accumulate in the brain decades before the onset of dementia, ADRC researchers see a window of opportunity to leverage lifestyle changes or new medications to intervene in this early disease process. Clinical trial efforts are underway, at sites such as the ADRC, to test the efficacy of drugs to remove or prevent amyloid beta buildup, and their potential to reduce or delay the onset of cognitive impairment.

  • Aphasia

    Trouble understanding what people are saying or speaking.

  • Aphasia

    Trouble understanding what people are saying or speaking.

  • APOE

    Apolipoprotein E is a cholesterol transport protein and has been found in the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease. It comes in several types or “alleles” – 2, 3, and 4. Each person has two alleles (one from each parent) which you can have in any combination of the three types. Apolipoprotein E-4 has been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease but does not cause Alzheimer’s disease, whereas apolipoprotein E-2 decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Apolipoprotein E-3, the allele that occurs most commonly, neither increases nor decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (Finding out one’s apolipoprotein E type is NOT a genetic test for Alzheimer’s disease. Although more people with E-4 eventually get the disease than those with E-3 or 2, some people with E-4 never get Alzheimer’s.)

  • APOE

    Apolipoprotein E is a cholesterol transport protein and has been found in the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. It comes in several types or “alleles” -2, 3, and 4. Each person has two alleles (one from each parent) which you can have in any combination of the three types. Apolipoprotein E-4 has been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease but does not cause Alzheimer’s disease, whereas apolipoprotein E-2 decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Apolipoprotein E-3, the allele that occurs most commonly, neither increases nor decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (Finding out one’s apolipoprotein E type is NOT a genetic test for Alzheimer’s disease. Although more people with E-4 eventually get the disease than those with E-3 or 2, some people with E-4 never get Alzheimer’s.)

  • Apraxia

    The loss of the ability to perform tasks that require remembering patterns or sequences of movements (like giving a salute).

  • Apraxia

    The loss of the ability to perform tasks that require remembering patterns or sequences of movements (like giving a salute).

  • Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)

    AAAs coordinate and offer services that help older adults remain in their home, if that is their preference. Services might include Meals-on-Wheels, homemaker assistance, and whatever else it may take to enable the individual to stay in his or her own home. By making a range of options available, AAAs make it possible for older individuals to choose home-and community-based services and a living arrangement that suits them best. (See Eldercare Locator.)

  • Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)

    AAAs coordinate and offer services that help older adults remain in their home, if that is their preference. Services might include Meals-on-Wheels, homemaker assistance, and whatever else it may take to enable the individual to stay in his or her own home. By making a range of options available, AAAs make it possible for older individuals to choose home-and community-based services and a living arrangement that suits them best. (See Eldercare Locator.)

  • Assisted Living/Personal Care Homes/Residential Care Facilities

    A state-regulated residential long-term care option that may have different names depending on the state. Assisted living provides or coordinates oversight and services to meet residents’ individualized, scheduled needs, based on the residents’ assessment and service plans, and their unscheduled needs as they arise. There are more than 26 designations that states use to refer to what is commonly known as “assisted living.” There is no single uniform definition of assisted living, and there are no federal regulations for assisted living. In many states, most assisted living is private pay. Be sure to check with your state about any waiver programs that might be available through Medicaid to pay for the care provided in assisted living.

  • Assisted Living/Personal Care Homes/Residential Care Facilities

    A state- regulated residential long-term care option that may have different names depending on the state. Assisted living provides or coordinates oversight and services to meet residents’ individualized, scheduled needs, based on the residents’ assessment and service plans, and their unscheduled needs as they arise. There are more than 26 designations that states use to refer to what is commonly known as “assisted living.” There is no single uniform definition of assisted living, and there are no federal regulations for assisted living. In many states, most assisted living is private pay. Be sure to check with your state about any waiver programs that might be available through Medicaid to pay for the care provided in assisted living.

  • Autonomy

    A person’s ability to make their own choices.

  • Autonomy

    A person’s ability to make their own choices.

B

  • Band Aids

    A temporary solution.  This training refers to band-aids in the context of a person living with dementia is upset we give them some ice cream and they are okay, then they are upset again. We can’t keep giving them ice cream, we need to find out the WHY. Why are they upset? (see WHY)

  • Body mechanics

    Body mechanics is a term used to describe the ways we move as we go about our daily lives. It
    includes how we hold our bodies when we sit, stand, lift, carry, bend, and sleep. Poor body
    mechanics are often the cause of back problems.

C

  • Care or Case Manager

    A nurse, social worker, or other healthcare professional who plans and coordinates services for an individual’s care. This person usually works for an agency or care setting. (Also see Geriatric Care Manager.)

  • Care or Case Manager

    A nurse, social worker, or other healthcare professional who plans and coordinates services for an individual’s care. This person usually works for an agency or care setting. (Also see Geriatric Care Manager.)

  • Care Plan

    A detailed written plan that describes what is needed for an individual’s care and provided by a range of health professionals, including nurses, therapists, social workers, nursing or personal assistants. For those living at home, a good care plan should also list the caregiving activities that family members are able to do, need help learning how to do, and will be doing. “I” Care Plans are written in the first person, as if the person receiving care wrote it her- or himself, and express the desires of the individual for her or his care. Care plans can describe the risks that an individual is prepared to take in exercising his or her autonomous self-determination and choice. Creating the care plan should involve an interdisciplinary team of the care recipient, caregivers, including the nursing assistant, as well as the family as appropriate.

  • Care Plan

    A detailed written plan that describes what is needed for an individual’s care and provided by a range of health professionals, including nurses, therapists, social workers, nursing or personal assistants. For those living at home, a good care plan should also list the caregiving activities that family members are able to do, need help learning how to do, and will be doing. “I” Care Plans are written in the first person, as if the person receiving care wrote it her- or himself, and express the desires of the individual for her or his care. Care plans can describe the risks that an individual is prepared to take in exercising his or her autonomous self-determination and choice. Creating the care plan should involve an interdisciplinary team of the care recipient, caregivers, including the nursing assistant, as well as the family as appropriate.

  • Caregiver

    A caregiver is a spouse, family member, partner, friend, or neighbor who helps care for an elder or person with a disability who needs assistance.

  • Caregiver

    A caregiver is a spouse, family member, partner, friend, or neighbor who helps care for an elder or person with a disability who needs assistance.

  • Case Management

    Assistance for families in assessing the needs of older adults and making arrangements for services to help the older adult remain as independent as possible.

  • Case Management

    Assistance for families in assessing the needs of older adults and making arrangements for services to help the older adult remain as independent as possible.

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

    With a budget of approximately $650 billion and serving approximately 90 million beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plays a key role in the overall direction of the healthcare system. With regard to long-term care, CMS is responsible for regulating and paying nursing homes, home health agencies, and hospices for the care of Medicare and Medicaid (in conjunction with the states) beneficiaries.

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

    With a budget of approximately $650 billion and serving approximately 90 million beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plays a key role in the overall direction of the healthcare system. With regard to long-term care, CMS is responsible for regulating and paying nursing homes, home health agencies, and hospices for the care of Medicare and Medicaid (in conjunction with the states) beneficiaries.

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

    A person trained and certified to assist individuals with non-clinical tasks such as eating, walking, and personal care. (See
    definitions for Personal Care and ADLs.) This person may be called a “direct care worker” (DCW). In a hospital or nursing home the person may be called a nursing assistant, a personal care assistant, or an aide.

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

    A person trained and certified to assist individuals with non-clinical tasks such as eating, walking, and personal care. (See definitions for Personal Care and ADLs.) This person may be called a “direct care worker” (DCW). In a hospital or nursing home the person may be called a nursing assistant, a personal care assistant, or an aide.

  • Checkback

    Mrs. D did not want to come out for breakfast, so you bring it into her room and she seems
    happy. You checkback with her and get her plates and make sure she is doing okay.
    A family member is visiting and asks if it is okay for her to go in the kitchen and get her Mom a
    snack. You have your arms full of towels and tell her, “ Of course, go right ahead.” After you put
    the towels away you checkback with her and make sure she found everything she needed.

  • Citizen Advocacy Group (CAG)

    A CAG is a state or regional nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of long-term care. Members of a CAG may include long-term care recipients, their families and friends, citizen advocates, long-term care ombudsmen, and organizations subscribing to the CAG’s purpose.

  • Citizen Advocacy Group (CAG)

    A CAG is a state or regional nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of long-term care. Members of a CAG may include long-term care recipients, their families and friends, citizen advocates, long-term care ombudsmen, and organizations subscribing to the CAG’s purpose.

  • Clinical Trials

    Clinical trials are research studies conducted in people to determine whether treatments are safe and effective. Clinical trials are the best way for researchers to find new ways to detect, slow, treat and hopefully someday prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Cognition

    The process of knowing; of being aware of thoughts. The ability to reason and understand.

  • Cognition

    The process of knowing; of being aware of thoughts. The ability to reason and understand.

  • Cognitive

    of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or
    remembering) (Dictionary.com)

  • Cognitive Impairment

    A diminished mental capacity, such as difficulty with short-term memory. Problems that affect how clearly a person thinks, learns new tasks, and remembers events that just happened or happened a long time ago. Problems that affect cognition. (See definition of cognition.)

  • Cognitive Impairment

    A diminished mental capacity, such as difficulty with short-term memory. Problems that affect how clearly a person thinks, learns new tasks, and remembers events that just happened or happened a long time ago. Problems that affect cognition. (See definition of cognition.)

  • Consensus

    General agreement. Group solidarity in belief. (Dictionary.com)

  • Consistent Assignment

     Residents receive care from the same caregivers (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, direct care worker/certified nursing assistant) during a typical work week. Consistent assignments give the caregiver and resident the opportunity to build a close relationship, allowing the caregiver to gain a deep understanding of the resident and allowing the resident to develop a true level of comfort and trust with the caregiver.

  • Consistent Assignment

    Residents receive care from the same caregivers (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, direct care worker/certified nursing assistant) during a typical work week. Consistent assignments give the caregiver and resident the opportunity to build a close relationship, allowing the caregiver to gain a deep understanding of the resident and allowing the resident to develop a true level of comfort and trust with the caregiver.

  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

    A housing option that offers a range of services and levels of care. Residents may move first into an independent living unit, a private apartment or a house on the CCRC campus. The CCRC provides social and housing-related services and might have an assisted living residence and a nursing home, often called the health care center, on the campus. If and when residents can no longer live independently in their apartment or house, they move into assisted living (unless it is provided in their apartment or house) or the nursing home.

  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

    A housing option that offers a range of services and levels of care. Residents may move first into an independent living unit, a private apartment or a house on the CCRC campus. The CCRC provides social and housing-related services and might have an assisted living residence and a nursing home, often called the health care center, on the campus. If and when residents can no longer live independently in their apartment or house, they move into assisted living (unless it is provided in their apartment or house) or the nursing home.

  • Cortical Dementia

    Dementia associated with impairment of the part of the brain that affects memory, attention, reasoning and abstract thinking, and arising from disease of the cerebral cortex.

  • Cortical dementia

    Dementia associated with impairment of the part of the brain that affects memory, attention, reasoning and abstract thinking, and arising from disease of the cerebral cortex.

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

    A rare disorder caused by prions that typically leads to rapid decline in memory and cognition. Most people with this disease die within one year of onset.

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

    A rare disorder caused by prions that typically leads to rapid decline in memory and cognition. Most people with this disease die within one year of onset.

  • Cue Card

    Points from that module for you to print out and remember when you are working

  • Cueing

    The process of providing cues, prompts, hints and other meaningful information, direction or instruction—such as adding labels to drawers—to aid a person who is experiencing memory loss.

  • Cueing

    The process of providing cues, prompts, hints and other meaningful information, direction or instruction—such as adding labels to drawers—to aid a person who is experiencing memory loss.

  • Culture Change

    The common name given to the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, based on person-directed values and practices, where the voices of elders and those working with them always come first. Core person-directed values are choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living. Culture change transformation supports the creation of both long- and short-term living environments as well as community-based settings where both older adults and their caregivers are able to express choice and practice self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of daily life. Culture change transformation may require changes in organizational and leadership practices, physical environments, relationships at all levels, and workforce models—leading to better outcomes for all involved. While culture change may focus on elders, it improves the quality of life for all care recipients.

  • Culture Change

    The common name given to the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, based on person-directed values and practices, where the voices of elders and those working with them always come first. Core person-directed values are choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living. Culture change transformation supports the creation of both long- and short-term living environments as well as community-based settings where both older adults and their caregivers are able to express choice and practice self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of daily life. Culture change transformation may require changes in organizational and leadership practices, physical environments, relationships at all levels, and workforce models—leading to better outcomes for all involved. While culture change may focus on elders, it improves the quality of life for all care recipients.

D

  • Delirium

    an acutely disturbed state of mind that occurs in fever, intoxication, and other disorders and is
    characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence of thought and speech.
    (Dictionary.com)

  • Dementia

    Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

  • Dementia

    Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

  • Depression

    Low mood that prevents a person from leading a normal life. It’s more than feeling down or sad. It lasts longer and can affect sleep and appetite. When you’re depressed, you don’t get as much pleasure from things you used to enjoy.

  • Depression 

    Low mood that prevents a person from leading a normal life. It’s more than feeling down or sad. It lasts longer and can affect sleep and appetite. When you’re depressed, you don’t get as much pleasure from things you used to enjoy.

  • Direct Care Staff or Direct Care Worker (DCW)

    An individual working in a nursing home or assisted living community that provides “hands on” help with activities of daily living (ADLs) to residents. (See Certified Nursing Assistant.)

  • Direct Care Staff or Direct Care Worker (DCW)

    An individual working in a nursing home or assisted living community that provides “hands on” help with activities of daily living (ADLs) to residents. (See Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order

    A DNR order, signed by a doctor based on a patient’s wishes, instructs medical personnel to not perform life-saving CPR or other procedures to restart the heart or breathing once they have ceased. Once signed, the DNR directive must be placed in the patient’s chart.

  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order

    A DNR order, signed by a doctor based on a patient’s wishes, instructs medical personnel to not perform life-saving CPR or other procedures to restart the heart or breathing once they have ceased. Once signed, the DNR directive must be placed in the patient’s chart.

  • Domain of Well-Being

    Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good
    mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose. The domains are from
    The Eden Alternative (see below) include: Autonomy, Connectedness, Growth, Joy, Identity,
    Meaning and Security.

  • Down syndrome

    A syndrome that causes slowed growth, abnormal facial features and mental retardation. Down syndrome is caused by an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. Individuals with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease in adulthood. Durable power of attorney: A legal document in which you can authorize another person, usually a trusted family member or friend, to make legal decisions when you are no longer able to do so yourself.

  • Down Syndrome

    A syndrome that causes slowed growth, abnormal facial features and mental retardation. Down syndrome is caused by an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. Individuals with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease in adulthood.

  • Durable power of attorney

    A legal document in which you can authorize another person, usually a trusted family member or friend, to make legal decisions when you are no longer able to do so yourself.

  • Dysphasia

    Not being able to find the right word or understand the meaning of a word.

  • Dysphasia

    Not being able to find the right word or understand the meaning of a word.

E

  • Echocardiogram

    An ultrasound of your beating heart, It creates images with sound waves.

  • Elder Abuse

    Any knowing, intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable older adult. The specificity of laws varies from state to state. Types of elder abuse may include

    Physical Abuse—Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need;

    Emotional Abuse—Inflicting mental pain, anguish or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts;

    Sexual Abuse—Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind;

    Exploitation—Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property or assets of a vulnerable elder; Neglect—Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder;

    Abandonment—The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person. The specificity of laws varies from state to state. (See National Center on Elder Abuse.)

  • Elder law attorney

    An elder law attorney handles general estate planning issues and counsels clients about planning for the future with alternative decision-making documents. The attorney can also assist the client in planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care. Not all attorneys specialize in elder law. Your local bar association or the  National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys  and your local chapter can refer you to elder law attorneys in your area.

  • ElderSpeak

    Elderspeak is a specialized speech style used by younger adults with older adults, characterized
    by simpler vocabulary and sentence structure, filler words, lexical fillers, overly-endearing
    terms, closed-ended questions, using the collective “we”, repetition, and speaking more slowly.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

    It measures electrical signals from your heart and tells how fast your heat is beating and if it has a healthy rhythm.

  • Electroencephalogram (  EEG  )

    It measures brain activity. The doctor or technician will place metal discs called electrodes on your scalp for this short test.

  • Executive Function

    The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and
    one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based
    skills involving mental control and self-regulation.

F

  • Familial Alzheimer’s disease

    Alzheimer’s disease that runs in families.

  • Family Caregiver

    Any family member, partner, friend, or neighbor who provides or manages the care of someone who is ill, disabled, or frail. There may be more than one family caregiver involved in a person’s care. Sometimes family caregivers are referred to as informal caregivers. This is meant to show that they are different from formal caregivers (professional healthcare workers). But many caregivers do not like the term informal because it incorrectly implies less skill and commitment.

  • Family Council

    Family members of nursing home or assisted living residents who join together to provide a consumer voice and perspective to communicate issues to administrators and work for resolution and improvement. Family Councils can play a crucial role in voicing concerns, requesting improvements, discussing the mission and direction of a nursing home or assisted living community, supporting new family members and residents, and supporting the residence’s efforts to make care and life in the home the best it can be. When Family Councils meet independently (without representatives of the nursing home or assisted living community) they are able to speak more freely and openly. Such independent family councils in nursing homes are supported by federal (and some state) legislation.

  • Feeding tube

    A feeding tube is a plastic or rubber tube to give food and water to someone who cannot eat or drink. A feeding tube can be put in through the nose (nasogastric) or the stomach wall (PEG tube).

  • Fronto-Temporal Dementia

    Frontotemporal dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration) is an umbrella term for a
    diverse group of uncommon disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of
    the brain — the areas generally associated with personality, behavior and language.
    In frontotemporal dementia, portions of these lobes shrink (atrophy). Signs and symptoms vary,
    depending upon the portion of the brain affected.
    Some people with frontotemporal dementia undergo dramatic changes in their personality and
    become socially inappropriate, impulsive or emotionally indifferent, while others lose the
    ability to use language.
    Frontotemporal dementia is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem or as Alzheimer's
    disease. But frontotemporal dementia tends to occur at a younger age than does Alzheimer's
    disease, generally between the ages of 40 and 45. (Mayo Clinic)

  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

    The umbrella term for the clinical syndromes of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SD) and progressive non-fluent aphasia (PNFA), which all affect the frontal and temoral lobes of the brain. This term is sometimes used to refer specifically to bvFTD.

G

  • Gait

    How a person walks. People in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease often have a “reduced gait” which means it has become harder for them to lift their feet as they walk.

  • Geriatric Care Manager

    A person with a background in nursing, social work, psychology, gerontology or other human services field, who has knowledge about the needs of and services available for older adults. A geriatric care manager coordinates (plans) and monitors (watches over) a person’s care. He or she also keeps in contact with family members about the person’s needs and how their loved one is doing. Most geriatric care managers are privately paid and usually not covered by private insurance. Some long-term care insurance companies use care managers to assess the individual’s need for services and arrange for the needed services.

  • Geriatrician

    A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness and disabilities in older adults.

  • Geriatrics

    The branch of medicine that focuses on providing comprehensive health care for older adults and the treatment of diseases associated with the aging process.

  • Gerontologist

    A professional trained in Gerontology. Gerontologists have a Masters or doctoral degree, either in Gerontology, or in another discipline (psychology, biology, social work, etc.) with a focus in gerontology.

  • Gerontology

    The study of the aging process and individuals as they grow from midlife through later life including the study of physical, mental and social changes; the investigation of the changes in society resulting from our aging population; the application of this knowledge to policies, programs, and practice.

  • Go With the Flow
  • Grounding

    Grounding basically means to bring your focus to what is happening to you physically, either in
    your body or in your surroundings, instead of being trapped by the thoughts in your mind that
    are causing you to feel anxious.

  • Guardian

    An individual appointed by the courts who is authorized to make legal and financial decisions for another person.

H

  • Hallucination

    a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various
    physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually
    manifested as visual or auditory images. (Dictionary.com)

  • Health Care Practitioner

    A professional providing medical, nursing, and other healthcare related services.

  • Home Health Aide (HHA)

     A person trained to provide basic health care tasks for older adults and persons who are disabled, in their home. Tasks include personal care, light housecleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry and transportation. Tasks may also include taking vital signs (such as heart rate and blood pressure) or applying a “dry dressing” for certain kinds of wounds. They are supervised by a registered nurse when they are employed by a home health agency.

  • Home Health Care

    Services given to patients at home by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, therapists, home health aides, or other trained workers. Certified home health agencies often provide and coordinate these services. These services, provided on a short-term basis and ordered by a physician, are usually covered by Medicare and Medicaid. With Medicaid, there are differences in coverage between states.

  • Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

    Services provided in an individual’s home or a setting in the community, such as adult day services, senior centers, home-delivered meals, transportation services, respite care, housekeeping, companion services, etc. These services are primarily designed to help older people and people with disabilities remain in their homes for as long as possible. Many states have requested and received “Medicaid waivers” in order to enable low income Medicaid recipients to receive long-term care services in their own homes, adult day care, or an assisted living community instead of moving into a nursing home.

  • Home-delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels)

    Meals brought to people who cannot prepare their own meals or are homebound (cannot leave their homes).

  • Hospice

    A program of medical and social services for people diagnosed with terminal (end-stage) illnesses that focuses on comfort, not curing an illness. Hospice services can be given at home, in a hospital, hospice residence, assisted living community, or nursing home. They are designed to help both the patient and his or her family. Hospice care stresses pain control and symptom management. It also offers emotional and spiritual support. Medicare will pay for hospice if a doctor states that a person probably has six months or less to live. Hospice care can last longer than six months in some cases.

  • Household Model

    A small group of residents living within a physically-defined environment that “feels like home” and that has a kitchen, a dining room, and a living room. Staff is consistently assigned so they can develop meaningful relationships with the residents, work in self-led teams, and perform a variety of tasks. The sense of being at home is expressed in recognizing and honoring the rhythm of each individual’s life. For example, there is a wide variety of food accessible to residents around the clock, including breakfast-to-order and on demand. All residents in the household have opportunities to participate in the daily life of the household in a manner and to the extent they choose.

  • HUD Housing/Affordable Senior Housing

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 202 Program offers subsidized housing and rental assistance for low-income individuals over 62 years of age who meet the eligibility requirements of the federal program. These housing communities often help residents access a variety of healthcare and supportive services as well as transportation.

  • Huddle

    A huddle is a short, stand-up meeting that is typically at the beginning of a shift. It also may be
    called to get information across to all staff or to problem solve. (Link to more of a description)

  • Huntington’s disease

    An inherited, degenerative brain disease affecting the body that is characterized by mood changes, intellectual decline and involuntary movement of limbs.

I

  • Incontinence

    Loss of bladder (urine) or bowel movement control. This condition can be transient, intermittent, or permanent. Incontinence nurse specialists and physicians can diagnose the kind of incontinence that is present and suggest ways to effectively manage the situation through exercises and timed toileting programs.

  • Independent Living

    A residential location that may or may not provide hospitality or supportive services. Includes rental-assisted or market-rate apartments or cottages. Residents can choose which services they want. There may be an additional fee for some services.

  • Informal Caregiver

    A family member, friend, or any other person who provides long-term care, generally without pay.

L

  • Labelling

    Labelling or using a label is describing someone or something in a word or short phrase. Usually
    reducing their personhood down to one behavior, which is normally very inaccurate.

  • Learning Circle

    A Learning Circle is a group of individuals with a common interest who meet regularly to learn
    from each other, and others, about a self-identified topic and in a format the group has decided
    upon. Learning Circles are flexible, peer-directed learning experiences. Learning Circles are built
    upon the idea that every member has something to contribute and that every member has
    something to learn. (LINK to more of a description)

  • Lewy Body Dementia

    Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second most common
    type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Protein deposits, called Lewy
    bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement
    (motor control).
    Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. People with Lewy body
    dementia may experience visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. Other
    effects include Parkinson’s disease-like signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow
    movement and tremors. (Mayo Clinic)

  • Life Story

    A series of events that make up a person’s life; including everything in their past such as:
    occupations, environments, people in their life, trauma, habits, etc.

N

  • Neurocognitive disorder

    Neurocognitive disorder is a general term that describes decreased mental function due to a
    medical disease other than a psychiatric illness. It is often used synonymously (but incorrectly)
    with dementia.

  • Non-Compliant

    To be noncompliant is to be defiant and resistant to authority. When someone is compliant,
    they go along with what others — especially people in authority — want them to do. When
    someone is noncompliant, they resist authority. (Dictionary.com)

  • Normalcy

    the quality or condition of being normal. (Dictionary.com)

P

  • Person-Centered Care
  • PET Scan

    A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues
    and organs are functioning. A PET scan uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show this activity.
    This scan can sometimes detect disease before it shows up on other imaging tests.
    The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being
    studied. The tracer collects in areas of your body that have higher levels of chemical activity,
    which often correspond to areas of disease. On a PET scan, these areas show up as bright spots.
    A PET scan is useful in revealing or evaluating several conditions, including many cancers, heart
    disease and brain disorders. Often, PET images are combined with CT or MRI scans to create
    special views.

Q

  • Quizzing

    Close or consistent questioning. Something you should never do with a person living with
    dementia.

R

  • Reminiscence

    the act or process of recalling past experiences, events, etc. (Dictionary.com)

S

  • Sequencing

    Arrange in a particular order. Many persons living with dementia may have difficulty with sequencing.

  • SPECS

    You have to know a person’s SPECS.
    Social
    Physical
    Emotional
    Cognitive
    Spiritual

  • Stages

    There is said to be 3 stages and 7 stages, yet if you know a person living with dementia and you
    look at the stage descriptions you will see that a person can be in Stage 2 and 4 or Stage 3 and
    5. It is not person-centered to put anyone into a box, silo or stage and say this is how they will
    be and how you should treat them.

T

  • The Eden Alternative

    The Eden Alternative® is an international, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating
    quality of life for Elders and their care partners, wherever they may live.

V

  • Vascular dementia

    Vascular dementia is a general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment,
    memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to
    your brain.
    You can develop vascular dementia after a stroke blocks an artery in your brain, but strokes
    don't always cause vascular dementia. Whether a stroke affects your thinking and reasoning
    depends on your stroke's severity and location. Vascular dementia can also result from other
    conditions that damage blood vessels and reduce circulation, depriving your brain of vital
    oxygen and nutrients. (MayoClinic.com)

  • Visuospatial skills

    Visuospatial skills are the abilities to recognize and organize information when you see
    something and then interpret what you see. Examples of this skill include reading, recognizing
    shapes,making sense of floor patterns, and following a map.

W

  • Why

    Let’s say a person living with dementia is upset we give them some ice cream and they are
    okay, then they are upset again. We can’t keep giving them ice cream, we need to find out the
    WHY. Why are they upset? If we don’t look for the WHY in any situation we will continue to
    solve everything with band-aids and never get to the source of the issue and actually help the
    person. (see band-aid)