Glossary of Home Care Terms

Glossary of Medical Terms

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

It is a known fact that medical terminology can be a bit daunting, especially so to the untrained eye. Terms such as “respite care”, “palliative care” and “gerontology” can be intimidating if you’re seeing them for the first time and aren’t clear on their meaning. We at Freiheit Care Inc have compiled a list of terms that are often misunderstood or are unknown, which we hope will simplify an already challenging time.

Glossary of Teams

Activities of Daily Living (ADL): things that happen every day and are part of personal care, such as bathing, dressing, hair care, nail care, brushing teeth, etc. Our companions and personal support workers are trained to assist or supervise our customers with personal care.

Family Caregivers: a family member or loved one of a senior who provides care to them in the home. In Canada, there are upwards of 8 million caregivers providing care to family members. Family caregivers are especially susceptible to caregiver guilt and burnout.

Gerontology: the study of social, cultural, psychological, cognitive and biological aspects of aging.

Palliative Care: there is a tainted reputation surrounding “palliative care” and what it means. Palliative care has coined the nickname “end of life care” over time, and while this is true in some cases, even those who are not approaching the immediate end of life can receive palliative care. “Palliative care” is a blanket term used to describe comfort measures and symptom management of disease. This includes (but is not limited to): pain management, symptom management (such as oxygen therapy), psychosocial support and caregiver support.

Professional Caregivers: professional caregivers are trained and certified individuals who will enter the home to provide care. Freiheit Care employs three classifications of professional caregivers:

Personal Support Workers: assist in the home with tasks such as hygiene, meal preparation, light housekeeping.

Registered Practical Nurse & Registered Nurse: administer treatments in the home, such as medications, wound care, foot care.

Respite Care: often offered temporarily in the home, respite care can provide family caregivers with a much needed break from the caregiving process. Our trained professional caregivers are available 24/7 to provide relief to you and your loved ones.

These are only a few of the common terms used in home care. At Freiheit Care, we are happy to help explain what our services and definitions are. We don’t want there to be any confusion, because the longer you spend trying to figure things out, the less you will be free to live your life to its fullest. So, call us today and we’d be happy to define any terminology for you that is unfamiliar or seems daunting! Just another way we help you to be free to live.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse and Intake Specialist at Freiheit Care Inc. She has been with Freiheit Care Inc since its inception. She has experience in community nursing and palliative care. She sees customers for initial intake assessments.

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