Glossary of Care Services
24 Hour Care: In-home care provided for a continuous 24-hour period or full day. Also known as around the clock home care.
ADLs: Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) describe basic tasks essential for day-to-day functioning. These include bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, mobility and toileting.
Aging In Place: The term “aging in place” refers to seniors who choose to remain in their home as they get older instead of moving to an independent or assisted living community.
Alzheimer's Disease: Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and serious brain disorder that destroys memory and other important mental functions, including communication, behavior, and thinking.
Arthritis: Arthritis is a general term used for conditions that cause joint pain, stiffness, swelling and other symptoms. There are over 200 conditions that affect joints, but the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.
Care Plan (or Plan of Care): Care plans include tasks and goals to help caregivers provide the best physical, mental and emotional wellbeing care. This document describes the home care services needed and when the client would like to initiate care. Comfort Keepers develops a individualized and completely confidential Plan of Care for each client.
Care Team: A care team consists of a group of people committed to helping someone improve their physical, emotional and social wellbeing. This can include healthcare professionals, caregivers, family members, friends, spiritual advisors, social workers and others.
Caregiver: Comfort Keepers caregivers provide companionship, personal care which can include assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming, and other quality of life services. This can include mobility and safety assistance, help with meals and housekeeping, transportation to appointments and social events, as well as activities that encourage engagement, purpose, connection and joy.
Change in Condition Monitoring: This term is a specific task caregivers perform that includes observing clients and recording/reporting signs of mental, physical or emotional changes in behavior.
Companion Care: Companion care, or companionship, provides seniors with non-medical support, including emotional support, friendship, and socialization. Common activities include conversation, mental stimulation (playing games, going for a walk, listening to music), meal prep, laundry and light housekeeping, grocery shopping and errands, transportation to appointments and social events, and reminders for hygiene and grooming. At Comfort Keepers, our caregivers also provide medication reminders and communication with a client’s loved ones. We also focus on activities that bring joy, provide mental stimulation and encourage physical and emotional wellbeing. Companion care is key to maintaining positive mental health and protecting against senior isolation and loneliness.
Coronavirus: Also known as COVID-19, Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes mild to severe symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, breathing difficulty and more. Symptoms may be different depending on age and underlying health conditions. More information available from the CDC.
End-of-Life Care: When a loved one is diagnosed with limited life expectancy, he or she often has a strong desire to spend the final days in the comfort of home. Comfort Keepers supports seniors and their loved ones by working with a hospice agency or medical provider to fully meet the family’s care needs. We will help care for your loved one, as well as assist around the house and provide the family with emotional and moral support.
Family Room/Family Portal: Family Room is an online portal that provides transparency of care and allows family members to be involved with their loved one’s care. With Family Room, family members can view caregiver notes and photos, view schedules and invoices and communicate directly with Comfort Keepers’ care team.
GrandPad: GrandPad is a simple touch-screen tablet designed for seniors to stay in touch. The GrandPad tablet opens a whole new world for seniors by connecting them with family, friends, and caregivers through video chat, favorite games and other basic apps. Read more about GrandPad, available through Comfort Keepers.
Home Care or In-Home Care: While in-home care can be used to describe both medical and non-medical care in the home, typically in-home care refers to non-medical care such as companionship, homemaking services and personal care.
Home Health: Home health is a term used to describe skilled nursing care and other functions such as speech, physical or occupational therapy.
Home Health Aide: Home health aide and caregiver are synonymous terms that can be used interchangeably. A Comfort Keepers home health aide can provide companionship, personal care which can include assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming, and other quality of life services. This can include mobility and safety assistance, help with meals and housekeeping, transportation to appointments and social events, as well as activities that encourage engagement, purpose, connection and joy.
Hospice Care: Hospice care provides specialized comfort care and family support for those with serious illness. In hospice care situations, medical professionals have stopped attempts to cure or treat the disease because of the advanced stage of illness.
IADLs: Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are those activities that are important in enhancing a client’s quality of life. IADLs include shopping, paying bills, household chores (cleaning, laundry), and meal preparation.
Incontinence: Incontinence is defined as loss of bladder or bowel control.
Interactive Caregiving: The focus of Interactive Caregiving is doing things with our clients instead of just doing things for them. While our caregivers provide assistance with the daily needs that a senior has, they encourage participation and engagement as much as possible. This allows our caregivers to develop a relationship with clients and keep them physically and mentally active. Interactive Caregiving is the signature care approach provided by Comfort Keepers.
Ischemia: Ischemia is a cardiovascular condition restricting or reducing blood supply to the heart, resulting in decreased oxygen and blood flow. For more information, including details on silent ischemia, visit the American Heart Association.
Live-in Care: Live-in care is the same as home care, but caregivers live at home with their clients.
Memory Care: This is a distinct form of long-term care designed to meet the needs of a person with Alzheimer’s disease dementia or other types of memory problems.
Mobility Assistance: Mobility assistance includes any activity to assist someone that needs help moving.
MS: MS, or Multiple sclerosis, is a central nervous system disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of the nerves. This can disrupt communication between the nerves and the brain. For more information, visit National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Myocardial Infarction: A myocardial infarction is another term for heart attack, or a blockage of blood flow to the heart. For more information, visit the American Heart Association.
Palliative Care: Palliative care is treatment for seriously ill patients that includes medical care to manage pain and symptoms, as well as emotional and practical support. Palliative care teams can include doctors and nurses, social workers, nutritionists, spiritual advisors and in-home caregivers. During palliative care, healthcare professionals continue to try to cure the disease.
Parkinson's Disease: Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in a specific area of the brain, resulting in issues with movement and often starts with tremors in one hand. For more information, visit Parkinson’s Foundation.
Personal Care: Personal care is a broad term that supports basic personal hygiene and activities of daily living, including dressing, grooming, and toileting. Comfort Keepers’ trained caregivers assist with personal care needs ranging from stand-by assistance to full care depending on each client’s individual needs. This can include basic tasks, such as bathing, mobility assistance, incontinence and toileting care, preparing and serving meals, to more hands-on personal care including position changes for those clients that are bedbound and specialized care for those with memory issues or cognitive impairments, fall risk assessment and prevention, change in condition monitoring. Personal home care services can also include assistance with outings, social events, shopping trips, and other activities of interest to maintain engagement both physically and emotionally.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia is lung inflammation caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Common symptoms include cough, fever, chills, and trouble breathing. Visit the American Lung Association for more information on pneumonia.
Private Duty Nursing: Unlike traditional in-home care services, private duty nurses provide one-on-one skilled medical care. They are qualified to offer this care in the comfort of the patient's own home, or in a facility such as a hospital or nursing home. Private duty nurses are Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
Respite Care: Respite care is defined as the transfer of primary caregiving responsibilities to another person, typically a professional caregiver, relative or friend, in order for primary caregivers to receive temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities.
Safety Choice: In-home safety technologies, including medical alert systems and motion detectors, offered exclusively by Comfort Keepers.
Social Determinants of Health: The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. They include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood, employment, social support networks and access to health care.
Sundowners Syndrome: Also known as Sundown Syndrome or Sundowning Syndrome: Is a condition most often associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Sundowning typically occurs in the late afternoon or early evening, and can include a period of confusion, agitation, irritability, or restlessness. For some, it continues into the night and can make sleep difficult.
TIA: Transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is a brief stroke-like attack that requires immediate medical attention. In some, TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke. For more information, visit the American Stroke Association.
Transitional Care: home care for those transitioning home after a hospital stay, injury, procedure or rehabilitation facility. Transitional care can include transportation home and to follow up appointments, assistance with medication reminders, support for physician-prescribed exercise or diet programs, and other in-home care services. Read more about post-hospital care services available from Comfort Keepers.