VNA Plus

Home Care Your Way

Serving Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey and
Gibson Counties in Indiana
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Glossary of Commonly-Used Terms

ADLs – Abbreviation for Activities of Daily Living and includes bathing, dressing, eating, moving around, toileting and walking.

Caregiver – Someone who gives care to another person, in a professional, non-medical or informal capacity.

Companion – A non-medical caregiver that provides socialization for individuals wherever they call home; duties may also include housekeeping, preparing meals, escorting to appointments or activities, reminder services and more.

Custodial Care – Another name for non-medical care or private duty care that is not generally covered by Medicare, Medicaid or commercial insurance.

Elder Care – Care for aged individuals; also referred to as geriatric care or senior care.

Government Funded Care – State and federally funded programs (not including Medicare and Medicaid) that provide in-home services to the elderly and disabled.

Home Care – Refers to non-medical or private duty services performed wherever the recipient resides.

Home Health Care – Refers to medical related, skilled services that must be performed by a professional such as a nurse or therapist as defined by Medicare and Medicaid guidelines.

Home Health Aide – A state licensed professional that provides personal care, assistance with activities of daily living and other duties as instructed and overseen by a skilled professional such as a registered nurse.

Medicaid – A jointly funded medical and financial Federal-State health insurance program that provides benefits to individuals with limited financial resources, the disabled and the elderly.

Medical Alert Service/Personal Response System – a type of equipment that provides a 24-hour telephone connection to professional responders in the event of a fall, medical emergency, or whenever assistance of any type is needed.

Medication Dispenser – a type of equipment that dispenses prescribed medications at pre-programmed intervals and audibly reminds individuals to take the medication.

Medicare – A federal program that helps pay for medical expenses of those aged 65 and over. Medicare does not typically pay for long-term care expenses.

Non-Medical Care – Care that does not require the skills of a nurse or therapist; services include companionship, homemaking assistance, personal care and respite care.

Not-for-Profit – Status of ownership characterized by a community-based volunteer Board of Directors that ensure that the agency’s approach to caring is community based and responsive to local needs. Surplus revenue is reinvested in the organization for improving or expanding services rather than paid to owners or shareholders.

Personal Care Assistant – a non-medical, non-licensed caregiver that has received additional training to provide hands-on assistance with activities of daily living such as feeding, bathing and continence care.

Private Duty – Caregivers, aides and attendants provide care on a private pay (fee for service) basis in the home, hospital or extended care facility.

Respite Care – Temporary relief from duties for caregivers.


Visiting Nurse Plus > Resources > Glossary of Commonly-Used Terms