Fingertip File (Glossary)

Elder Law Attorneys have answers, information, and recommendations to plan for: estates, wills, incapacity, disability, long-term care, facilities, finances, elder rights, power of attorney, medicare, medicaid, etc.

NAELA is the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys whose members are committed to continuing education on changes in state and federal laws.

Power of Attorney is a document that allows a principal to appoint an agent to act for them in matters of financial decisions or healthcare decisions or recommend a guardian.

Health Care Power of Attorney is a notarized form that communicates wishes regarding medical care and treatment and decisions for the person who should they become incapacitated.

General Power of Attorney is given to an agent to perform almost any act that the principal can do. It is terminated when the principal becomes incapacitated, revokes the power of attorney, or passes away.

Durable Power of Attorney is given to an agent designated to act on behalf of the principal and includes a clause that maintains the agent’s power of attorney even after the principal becomes incapacitated.

Special or Limited Power of Attorney is given to an agent for specific power to act only on certain pre-determined items.

Springing Durable Power of Attorney, available in some states, becomes effective only when a specified life event occurs.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65+ or covers you if you are under 65 and have a disability, no matter your income.

Medicaid is a STATE and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a very low income. contact your local Medicaid office to learn more about costs and coverage.

Dually Eligible describes a person who qualifies for both Medicare and Medicaid. Both work together to provide health coverage and lower costs.

Med-minders are containers, automation, or services for organizing and dispensing daily medication and supplements. They can be manually opened or on a timer with displayed instructions and audible notifications. There are businesses that pre-pack meds individually with printed dates and times.

Non-prescription Assistive Devices are tools providing for continuing activities of daily independent living more safely, comfortably, and efficiently. These devices mitigate the effects of difficult physical or cognitive conditions.

Assisted Living is a facility or community that can provide personal care in categories of meals, medication, hygiene, reminders and mobility as needed.

Skilled Nursing are facilities or communities that provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting and can include ambulation, transfers, dressing, toileting, wound care maintaining skin health and physical therapy regimens as needed.

Memory Care is a facility or community that can provide personal care including meals, medication, hygiene, dressing, toileting, wound care, reminders and mobility as needed.

Independent Living is a facility or community chosen by a senior individual with desirable amenities that can include grounds maintenance, cleaning, meals, and programmed activities.

Adult Daycare is a facility or community that provides skilled or trained caregivers for a safe and engaging environment during daytime hours as respite for family caregivers. This can include many of the same services as assisted living, although guests may bring their own meal.

Adult Foster Homes are residential settings that can provide services similar to assisted living.

Transfers are the actions (strength, coordination, positioning) needed for moving from bed to wheelchair or wheelchair to car, etc.

Ambulation is moving down the hall or up the stairs, outside or into buildings. This can include walking alone, walking with the assistance of railings, cane, walker, trained caregiver arm in arm or wearing a gait belt, wheel chair, or combinations of those.

Gait Belts are worn by a person needing caregiver assistance to transfer or to ambulate.

Snow Birds are a nickname for retired seniors who live “up north” during warmer weather then live in warmer climates during the winter.

Neuropathy is disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness.

Lotions have a higher water content than moisturizers, and therefore do their work on top of the skin.

Creams contain less oil and more water, making them easier to absorb.

Moisturizers are creams designed to bring moisture or vitamins or minerals into the skin. It has sealing agents like mineral oils or petroleum jelly for treating dry skin—especially in the winter.

Ointments contain more oil and less water. They are best suited to treat dry skin conditions. Due to the high oil factor, they tend to be greasier than creams.

Disregarded, Irrelevant, and Invisible describe how an aging person can be considered or treated by younger people. As being overlooked, patronized, or neglected continues, a long-lived person can also feel discouraged and begin to think that these labels have somehow become accurate.

Comfort Care describes a focus on the quality of life being lived, not prolonging that life regardless of the quality. Comfort Care is good physical body care, addressing discomforts, hygiene, and basic activity. It supports your emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing when your physical body is not meeting your needs.

Comfort Care Workers guide and nurture those around you. They encourage you and your family to live the best life possible within the confines of your disease. The terms that are assigned to these people—Palliative care, Hospice, and End of Life Doulas—all come under the heading of Comfort Care. Each performs differently to ease suffering and concerns.

Palliative Care occurs while still receiving treatment under the direction of medical personnel. This is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms—palliative care—along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness.

Hospice Care treats the person and SYMPTOMS of a condition or disease. It is not the role of Hospice workers to treat the disease itself. It is a philosophy that accepts death as the final stage of life. It neither hastens nor postpones death. It recognizes peace, comfort, and quality of life in the final stage of life. It begins when curing a patient is not possible and treatments are no longer being received. Hospice and EOL Doulas complement each other and work together.

End of Life Doulas (EOLDs) are non-medical companions to the dying and their families. They may assist in advance care planning, coordinating family caregiving, vigil planning, respite for those giving care, and bereavement support. Hospice and EOL Doulas complement each other and work together.