Glossary of Terms

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
ADLs are tasks persons normally do independently, such as bathing, dressing, ambulation, meals, and elimination.

Acute Home Care
Services and equipment provided in the home for a limited period of time to patients experiencing an acute injury or illness episode.

AIDS Program
A program designed to meet the special needs of AIDS patients.

Individuals who provide personal care, companionship, and other non-medical support services to patients.

Case Management
An administrative service that directs client movement through involvement with the health and social services delivery system with the goal of increasing the quality and cost-effectiveness of care. Medicare certified and licensed home health agencies provide case management.

Certified Home Health Aide
A Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) is an aide that works for a home health agency. The aide must have completed a specific training program and be certified by the Department of Health Services. The CHHA provides personal care when a patient needs assistance in order to be maintained at home. Personal care includes assistance with ambulation, bathing, dressing and meal preparation. Aides also remind the patient to take self-administered medication as directed and report to the nurse about the patient's progress.

Chore Worker / Housekeeper
A person who performs general household duties such as cooking and cleaning.

Companion / Sitter
Individuals who furnish personal attendance, companionship or household care services to children or elderly, disabled individuals.

Continuous Care Nursing
Home care services that are provided on an extended hourly basis, rather than per visit.

Disposable Medical Products
Medical supplies intended for one-time use only.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
See Home Medical Equipment (HME)

Elder Care
Supportive care for frail elders in the home; may include assistance with ADLs and IADLs.

Enterostomal Therapy
A form of therapy which provides acute and rehabilitative care for persons with select disorders of the bowel, bladder, and skin. The enterostomal therapist provides care to persons with ostomies, fistulas, drains, pressure sores, and incontinence.

Geriatric Case Management
Usually performed by a social worker on behalf of an elderly patient. It includes services to maintain the elderly client at home and may be arranged for by the child of an elderly parent needing supportive services.

Home Care Aide
An individual who provides personal care. Home care aides may also be referred to as certified nurse assistants, personal care workers, nurse's aides and attendants.

Home Health Agency
A private or public organization, including but not limited to, any partnership, corporation, political subdivision of the state, or other government agency within the state, which provides or arranges for the provision of skilled nursing services, to persons in their temporary or permanent place of residence.

Home Medical Equipment (HME)
Equipment used by the patient to perform activities of daily living. Such equipment can withstand repeated use, is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, generally is not useful to a person in the absence of an illness or injury, and is appropriate for use in the patient's home. HME includes hospital beds, walkers, bath benches, and trapezes. Also referred to as Durable Medical Equipment (DME).

Household Management
Non-medical support service in which a person performs general household duties such as cooking, cleaning, child care, and shopping. A homemaker does not provide personal care.

A program of palliative and supportive care for individuals experiencing terminal illness. An interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers provides coordinated services in the patient's place of residence or in an inpatient setting during the illness and period of bereavement. Most hospices are licensed and Medicare certified.

Independent Providers
Nurses, aides, homemakers and companions who are privately employed by those who need their services. The responsible party for recruiting, hiring, and supervising an independent provider rests with the patient and family. The patient pays the provider directly.

Infusion Therapy
A form of therapy which supplies essential nutrients, fluids, electrolytes, medications, blood or blood products directly into the patient's blood stream. Specific therapies include antibiotics, diuretics, pain control, hydration, chemotherapy and total parenteral nutrition.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)
IADLs are functions such as shopping, transportation and meal preparation. IADLs complement the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), allowing patients to be maintained at home.

A joint state/federal funded program that provides health care services for low income, medically needy. Medi-Cal generally does not pay for home care aide services but does fund homemaker / chore worker services through the county for eligible individuals.

Medical Social Services
Services provided by a medical social worker (MSW) or MSW assistant, which may include advice and counsel, as well as instruction in the utilization of appropriate community resources. This type of service may be necessary if a patient is having difficulty adjusting to physical, psychological, financial, environmental, or familial limitations which may inhibit his or her recovery from an illness or injury.

A federal government insurance program, which pays for health care services for the aged and specific disabled populations. Home care aide services are not reimbursed by Medicare unless delivered by a Certified Home Health Agency and Certified Home Health Aide.

Mental Health Services
Psychiatric nursing, therapy, social services, or other services provided to patients who have mental illnesses. Includes observations and medical interventions related to the patient's behavior, social interactions, and administration of, as well as instructions about, medications.

Multilingual Staff
Staff of the home health agency who speak languages other than English.

Nanny Care
Non-medical support services in which a person performs general child care duties.

Nurses Registry
An employment agency which obtains and fills commitments for nursing service. Nursing service is the assignment of a nurse, as a private duty, self-employed, licensed registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, or practical nurse to render service to a patient under the direction or supervision of a physician or surgeon registered to practice in this state.

Occupational Therapy
Services provided by an Occupational Therapist (OT) to a patient who has suffered an injury or illness which has affected perceptual motor skills or the ability to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating or cooking.

Pediatric Care
Nursing, therapy, social services or other home care services provided to children who are ill, developmentally disabled, or impaired by birth defects. A specially trained nurse or therapist may help the family and patient learn to administer treatments, medications or other prescribed therapy while tailoring the program to the child's developmental needs.

Perinatal Care
Specialized health care services provided before and after birth for mothers and newborn infants.

Personal Care
Services which support a patient's health care, personal well-being and comfort by providing assistance with oral hygiene, elimination, bathing, foot and hair care, shaving, dressing, and similar grooming care.

Physical Therapy
Services provided by a physical therapist (PT) to a patient who has suffered an injury or illness affecting motor skills or function.

Rehabilitation Services
Includes one or more of the following services: Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, or Speech pathology.

Respite Care
Intermittent or continuous care of the patient in the most appropriate setting, for the primary purpose of providing temporary relief to the caregiver(s) from the duties of caring for the patient. Respite care may be delivered by members of the home care team, homemakers or volunteers.

Generally, a person who does have some type of health care background and may be hired by health care providers to watch the patient. The sitter does not provide any service for the patient, but acts to summon someone when assistance is needed.

Skilled Nursing
Activities requiring the skill of a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse. These activities include assessment, education, and administration of medications and treatments. All Medicare Certified and Licensed home health agencies provide skilled nursing services.

Speech Pathology
Services provided by a speech, language and hearing pathologist to a patient who has suffered an illness or injury which has affected speaking or hearing ability and/or language skills.

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