Glossary of Commonly Used Terms
Here are some terms frequently used by the Lifespan staff and others. (Note that some of these definitions are pertinent in NYS and may not apply to other states.)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) The everyday activities involved in personal care such as feeding, dressing, bathing, moving from a bed to a chair (also called transferring), toileting and walking.
Adult Day Care Two Types
• Medical Model (regulated by NYS Department of Health) provides socialization in addition to nursing supervision and other health-related needs (tube feeding/ toileting/dressing/prescription drug administration). Operated in NYS by long-term care providers only.
• Social Model Provides socialization, nutrition and supervision. Participants must be ambulatory, self-feeding and self-toileting.
Adult Homes Provide long-term residential care in rooms, not apartments. Includes meals, housekeeping, personal care, 24/7 staffing, custodial care and supervision.
Advance Directives Documents (such as health care proxy, living will, Do Not Resuscitate) that specify your end-of-life decisions.
Asset Anything owned that has value. For example: a house; bank account; stock; bond; jewelry; etc.
Assisted Living Housing for older adults with some combination of on-site supportive services (ranges from personal care, to congregate meals, laundry service, housekeeping, call buttons, etc.).
There are three different Assisted Living models in New York State: (See Housing topic)
• Adult Home
• Enriched Housing Program
• Housing-with-Services Model
Assisted Living Program According to the New York State definition, an Assisted Living Program (ALP) is located within an Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program, and it combines residential and home care services. It is designed as an alternative to nursing home placement for individuals with stable medical conditions who are nursing home eligible.
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Breakeven Age (Under Social Security) The age at which the total accumulation of taking early Social Security benefits is equal to the total accumulation of taking later benefits.
Care Management Assistance with eldercare information and decisions. Provided by social workers who specialize in geriatric issues.
Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) Provide nursing and aide support to individuals who have home health care needs for a limited duration. Generally reimbursed through Medicare and/or Medicaid.
Codicil A supplement to an original will.
Capacity/Competency The determination of capacity or competency depends on the circumstances of the decision at hand. The capacity determination for medical decisions or a will differs from the capacity determination for the two types of guardianship.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities CCRC’s provide room, board, a range of health care and social services, including nursing and home care, services of an on-site or affiliated skilled nursing facility, access to physician services, prescription drugs and rehabilitation services and guaranteed access to a higher level of care.
Custodial Care Assistance with daily living activities such as eating, bathing, dressing.
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Daily Benefit Amount The amount that long-term care insurance policies pay per day toward care.
Day Habilitation Provides developmental training which may be structured or unstructured activities, and specialized assistance which will enable the participant to engage in a variety of non-vocational community activities.
Do Not Resuscitate Order Allows a surrogate authority to decline cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Enriched Housing Programs provide the same care as Adult Homes, but in settings resembling apartments. Rent includes housing, a minimum of one hot meal per day, housekeeping, case management, personal care and supervision. Does not require 24 hour staffing.
EPIC New York State’s prescription plan for low to moderate-income older adults. Income eligibility limits apply.
Full Retirement Age (FRA) The age at which you can retire with full social security benefits. (see chart in Financial section)
Guardian An individual or agency appointed by the court to manage the affairs of an incapacitated individual.
Health Care Proxy Allows you to select a health care agent (proxy) to carry out your medical decisions or wishes if and when you are unable to make those decisions or communicate your wishes concerning treatment.
Hospice Palliative (non-disease-treating) home and inpatient care and counseling for the terminally ill and their families.
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Independence Refers to the opportunity to make choices and decisions in one’s daily life activities. (Self-reliance to the extent possible.)
Individualized Service Plan (ISP) The written document that is developed by a person’s chosen service coordinator. It describes the services, activities and supports which constitute the person’s individualized service environment.
Intestate When a person dies without a will.
Inter Vivos Trust A trust that is established during your life. It exists immediately upon creation even though no assets are transferred into it.
Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) A facility providing room, board and individual protective oversight in a person’s home.
IT-214 Filed by qualified taxpayers who want to claim New York’s real property tax credit. The credit provides a tax rebate to homeowners 60 and older who meet certain eligibility criteria.
Letter of Intent Day in the life document of the person with the disability that details his/her likes and dislikes for use by future caregivers.
Licensed Home Care Services Agencies provide home care services to patients who pay privately, have private insurance coverage or are covered through a variety of government payers.
Living Trust A trust created during one’s lifetime. It allows one to transfer ownership of property and assets into a separate entity called a trust that is managed according to the rules you establish in the trust document. It may provide savings on estate taxes and may prevent the loss of government benefits for a loved one.
Living Will A statement that provides instructions for medical care under particular circumstances. It provides guidance for what kind of health care you may want rather than appointing an agent (proxy), to make those decisions. There is no statutory authority for living wills in New York State; however, these written instructions regarding your wishes and preferences for medical treatment will be honored if they meet clear and convincing evidentiary standards.
Long Term Home Health Care Programs (also known as Nursing Homes Without Walls) provide health care and support services to the disabled and chronically ill who are medically eligible for admission to a nursing home. Costs cannot exceed more than 75% of the cost of nursing home care.
Long-term Care Insurance Insurance purchased to pay for some long-term care services (nursing or home care).
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Medicaid Pays for medical care for low-income Americans.
Medicare Basic health insurance for people 65 and older, and for people with disabilities. Part A provides for inpatient hospital and nursing home care. Part B pays for doctors’ services, outpatient care and other medical services.
Medigap Insurance Supplements Medicare coverage. Purchased privately.
Memory Care Unit Found within a Skilled Nursing Facility, Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program. Units are separate from the rest of the population with safety measures for wandering residents. May offer separate dining and activities. Provides room, meals, housekeeping, personal care and supervision 24/7.
New York State Long-term Care Insurance Partnership Plan A specialized Long-term Care Insurance Plan that allows you to apply for Medicaid at the end of coverage (three years of nursing home care or six years of home care, or some combination of the two) and retain your assets. (However, you will have to contribute your income to the cost of your long-term care.)
Occupational Therapist Individuals who evaluate the consumer’s ability to maintain
their daily activities, mobility and sensory abilities. They also provide treatment via physicians’ orders and suggest program adaptations and particular modifications to a consumer’s program.
Ombudsman An individual who acts as an advocate. Lifespan’s Ombudsman Program provides advocacy for residents of nursing and adult homes.
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Physical Therapist The physical therapist evaluates and gives direct service/treatment for various physical injuries, disabilities, and diseases.
Power of Attorney Legal documents that grant another person authority to handle your finances and property. Two types: durable (remains in effect if you become incompetent or disabled) and simple (in effect only as long as you are capable of performing the tasks you are delegating).
Probate The court proceedings where the estate of a deceased person (who died intestate) is processed and distributed. The court determines the validity of a will.
Representative Payee A person who agrees to accept and manage Social Security benefits on behalf of another person.
Residential Habilitation Provides training, assistance and supervision in an environment where individuals continue to learn basic self-care social skills, daily living activities and adaptive behavior.
Respite Care Provides a break for a caregiving family member. Respite services are available in-home for a few hours, or in facilities for vacation periods.
Reverse Mortgage Provides homeowners age 60 and older with an opportunity to convert the financial equity in their homes to cash without having to sell the home.
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Service Coordinator Person who assists the developmentally disabled consumer to create and maintain the individualized service plan. Often times this person is a social worker.
Subsidized Section 8 Housing Assistance, in the form of direct payments to private landlords, secured from a local housing authority that low-income people can use to rent apartments and homes on the private market.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) A nursing home provides 24-hour-a-day skilled nursing care and related services, or rehabilitative services for the injured or disabled. Requires the services of licensed medical professionals.
Spend-Down A disbursement of assets needed in order to qualify for Medicaid.
Social Security Disability A payment made by the Social Security Administration to those individuals who are disabled. It does not pay benefits for partial disability or for short-term disability. To be eligible for SSD, the disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
Supportive Employment Paid employment for individuals with developmental disabilities which provides for any supports necessary to obtain and sustain work.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For people 65 or older, the blind and disabled who meet certain income eligibility requirements. Provides monthly cash benefits to meet food, shelter and clothing needs. A highly complex regulated program with rules governing every aspect and often multiple exceptions to the rules.
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Testate A person who dies with a will is said to die testate.
Testamentary Trust Does not come into existence until death.
Trust A transfer of assets to a trustee to be used for the benefit of another person or beneficiary.
Trustee Holds legal title to an asset under a trust.
Will The main device by which property is distributed at the time of death.
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