Our Glossary

Activities of daily living (ADLs): Tasks that are performed as a part of daily life. These include managing medicines, housekeeping, preparing meals, eating, bathing, grooming and getting dressed. A person’s ability to perform ADLs is a major factor in determining the type of care he or she needs.

Adult day services: A location where staff provides care and services during the day, and the senior returns home in the evening. Services can include health services, personal care, therapy, activities and meals.

Advance directive: A legal document describing a person’s desires about future health care decisions if the person is unable to make such decisions in the future. Examples of advance directives include a living will, durable power of attorney and health care proxy.

Alzheimer’s disease: A progressive neurological disease. The earliest observable symptoms are often thought to be age or stress related. In the early stages, the most commonly recognized symptom is memory loss, such as difficulty remembering recently learned facts, forgetting the names of people or objects, or forgetting how an object is used. As the disease advances, symptoms include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss, and general withdrawal.

Alzheimer’s Association: The global leader in research and support for Alzheimer’s disease. Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America employees receive regular training from Alzheimer’s Association experts on the latest in care for people living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association website has many resources and information.

American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA): The former name of LeadingAge, the national nonprofit association representing more than 5,700 not-for-profit organizations.

Ancillary services: Tests, procedures, imaging and other support services provided in a hospital or health care setting.

Application for residence: A form completed by individuals applying for residency in a senior living community.

Assisted living: Senior living communities that provide services similar to independent living communities and include supportive care from trained employees for residents who may require assistance with activities of daily living, including managing medications, bathing, dressing, toileting and eating.

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): The branch of the U.S. Health Department and Human Services that administers Medicare and federal portions of Medicaid. It was formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration. Rules and regulations issued by CMS are followed by Medicare-certified senior living communities.

Certified medication aide (CMA): A trained person who is certified to provide medication administration in a residential setting.

Certified nursing assistant (CNA): A trained and certified health care professional who assists individuals with health care needs and activities of daily living, and provides bedside care – including basic nursing procedures – under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Congregate housing: A style of living in which each individual or couple has a private bedroom or living quarters and shares with other residents a common dining room, recreational room and other amenities.

Continuing care retirement community (CCRC): Senior housing communities that offer independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care on one campus. The service options provide residents long-term security and peace of mind knowing that if their needs change, the appropriate level of support is available in a familiar place.

Continuum of care: A comprehensive range of programs and levels of care.

Cottage: A single-family dwelling.

Dementia: A general term for a group of symptoms such as loss of memory judgment, language, complex motor skills and other intellectual functions caused by the permanent damage or destruction of the brain.

Duplex/Townhome: A house with separate apartments for two families.

Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA): A legal document appointing another person to act on an individual’s behalf when he or she is unavailable or unable to do so. A Power of Attorney is “durable” if it includes that the document remains in effect or will take effect if the person becomes mentally incompetent. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions gives the representative the authority to make health care decisions. Financial decisions are covered under a financial DPOA.

Equal Housing Opportunity: In accordance with the federal Fair Housing Act, Equal Housing Opportunity provides protection from discrimination based on race, color, age, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex or physical ability.

Five-Star Rating System: The Five-Star Rating System from Medicare assigns each nursing home a rating of one to five stars. Communities with five stars are considered to have above average quality compared to others in that state. Nursing homes with one star have quality much below the average in that state but the nursing home still meets Medicare’s minimum requirements. Ratings take into consideration health inspections, quality measures and staffing levels.

Health care power of attorney: A legal document in which an individual designates another person to make health care decisions if he or she is unable to make or communicate their wishes. The health care proxy has, in essence, the same rights to request or refuse treatment that the individual would have if capable of making and communicating decisions.

Health care proxy: A person named in an advance directive or durable power of attorney to make decisions for the person who signed the document.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): A complex law that includes privacy protections. Resident privacy is of great importance to Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, and employees at all levels are trained in privacy protections.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS): Services to help people of all ages with mobility restrictions or disabilities. Every state has a mix of programs and funding sources, many paid for by Medicaid.

Home care: Services provided in senior’s homes, including personal care, transportation, light housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping and errand assistance. Home care employees should be bonded and insured.

Hospice care: Supportive end-of-life care with a focus on medical, psychological and spiritual support. The goal is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort and dignity. The caregivers work under the direction of a physician to control pain and other symptoms so a person can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. The hospice care team includes physicians, nurses, home health aides, therapists, clergy, social workers, the family and volunteers.

Independent living: Residence in an easy-to-maintain, private apartment, townhome or cottage within a community of seniors.

LeadingAge: An association of 5,500 not-for-profit organization dedicated to making America a better place to grow old. Formerly the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, LeadingAge advances policies, promotes practices and conducts research that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age. LeadingAge Kansas and LeadingAge Missouri are examples of state affiliates of the national organization.

Living will: A legal document that allows a person to express his or her wishes concerning the use of life-sustaining procedures.

Long-term care: A variety of services that include medical and non-medical care for people who have a chronic illness or disability and are unable to care for themselves without assistance. Long-term care helps meet health and other personal needs. Most long-term care services assist people with activities of daily living.

Managed care plan: A health insurance plan in which the patient agrees to stay within a comprehensive network of health care providers.

Medicaid: A program funded by federal and state governments that pays for health care for low-income individuals. This includes nursing home care for people meeting the medical eligibility requirements. In most states, Medicaid also pays for some long-term care services at home and in the community. Who is eligible and what services are covered vary from state to state.

Medicare: A federal program that pays for certain health care expenses for people over 65. Medicare pays for short-term rehabilitation if an individual meets certain conditions.

Medigap: Private insurance that supplements the gaps in Medicare coverage, helping to pay for Medicare deductibles, prescription drugs and services beyond Medicare’s support.

Memory care: Special services that offer a protected and healthy environment for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia or memory impairment.

Occupational therapist (OT): A health care professional who helps people to improve their ability to perform tasks in their activities of daily living or work environment.

Physical therapist (PT): A health care professional who uses specially designed exercises and equipment to help patients maintain or restore their functional abilities.

Post-Acute To Home (PATH®): Short-term rehabilitation in most Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America locations. PATH serves people who have been discharged from a hospital but still require therapy and special skilled care in order to make a successful transition to their home.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA): A not-for-profit organization founded in 1949, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America provides senior living options and services. The organization employs about 2,200 and provides services to approximately 2,400 seniors in 18 cities in Kansas and Missouri.

Quality of care: Federal quality indicators, customer satisfaction surveys and state surveys are a few examples of how quality care is measured.

Rehabilitation: After a serious injury, illness or surgery, a person may need to regain strength, relearn skills or find new ways of doing things. Physical therapy helps rebuild strength, mobility and fitness; occupational therapy helps improve independence with activities of daily living; and speech-language therapy helps with speaking, understanding, reading, writing and swallowing.

Resident council: An independent, organized group of residents in a senior living community that focuses on a wide variety of topics that may include menus, event planning and ideas for program and service development.

Respite care: Respite care refers to a short stay in a skilled nursing or assisted living center. It is essentially care for the caregiver, to give him or her a break – or respite – from 24-hour caregiving responsibilities. The length of time can vary from a weekend to a few weeks. During that time, respite care provides services and activities that are compassionate and appropriate to an individual’s needs.

Retirement community: A retirement community or senior living community is an organization that provides residential accommodations for older adults. Far different from what many people think of as a traditional “retirement home,” these communities offer wide-ranging services and amenities, activities and events to appeal to various interests, and usually access to health care services.

Semi-private: Two residents sharing an assisted living or skilled nursing room.

Skilled nursing care: Care performed by a registered, licensed practical nurse or certified nurse assistant for individuals who have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living.

Skilled nursing facility: A center for those who require skilled nursing care.

Speech therapy: Speech-language therapy helps with speaking, understanding, reading, writing and swallowing and is often ordered by a physician.

Studio: a type of apartment consisting usually with a combined living room and bedroom area, a bathroom and a kitchenette. A private apartment always has a separate bedroom while a studio almost never does.

Suites: A type of apartment with multiple rooms. In addition to the sleeping area, a suite will include a living or sitting room, usually with a couch. Dining, office and a kitchenette are available in some suites.

Townhome/Duplex: A house with separate apartments for two families.