11 Senior Care Acronyms You Should Know

As a full-time family caregiver, you regularly deal with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, this means you also have to deal with the jargon they use. Read on to learn twelve senior care acronyms you should know.

  1. POW — Power of Attorney
    A legal document that gives a named person the authority to make medical and financial decisions on someone else's behalf. As your loved one ages, it's a good idea to make sure they've appointed someone as their power of attorney.

  2. ADLs — Activities of Daily Living
    Personal care tasks such as eating, bathing, or toileting. Seniors sometimes need help with these things, and you need to know how to answer if someone asks you if your loved one has trouble with any ADLs.

  3. HHA - Home Health Agency
    An organization that is certified by Medicare and Medicaid and licensed by the state to provide medical care and assistance with ADLs.

  4. OT - Occupational Therapist
    A licensed professional who provides in-home respite care, helps with ADLs, and gives family caregivers a break.

  5. LTC- Long Term Care
    A term used to describe the process of planning future living and healthcare arrangements for seniors. This includes in-home and facility care.

  6. ALF — Assisted Living Facility
    A senior care facility that doesn't offer as much care as a nursing home, but that does offer some types of medical assistance to residents on an as-needed basis.

  7. SNF — Skilled Nursing Facility
    The technical term for a nursing home, a facility that offers 24-hour care to its live-in residents.

  8. SCU — Specialized Care Unit
    A special unit within an ALF or SNF for people with dementia. SCUs often have high security to prevent wandering and focus daily activities on things known to slow the progression of the disease.

  9. APS - Adult Protective Services
    Essentially, this is Child Protective Services for adults. This agency works to investigate cases of possible senior abuse, both at home and in care facilities.

  10. ADC — Adult Day Care
    A place where seniors can go to enjoy supervised social events and activities. These centers help caregivers by offering them a much-needed break.

  11. CCRC - Continuing Care Retirement Community
    A retirement community that offers a plethora of care options, from independent living to end-of-life hospice care. The biggest benefit of this type of community is your loved one has the option to move into a unit that offers more or less medical care, depending on their needs.

These senior care acronyms are useful for helping you understand the terms that might be thrown around when discussing your loved one's care.

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