Senior care glossary

Like so many things involving elder care, knowing what type of help is right for your loved one or client is helpful and saves time.  The most common types of elder care are listed below with definitions…

Caregivers provide semi-skilled care, such as bathing and other hygiene assistance, help with the activities of daily living, and companionship to family members or loved ones.

Personal Care Aides provide semi-skilled care, such as bathing and other hygiene assistance, help with the activities of daily living, and companionship to clients.

Caregivers need certification.  Find out who gives good certification at

Adult day care or Adult care centers – a facility for the supervised care of older adults, providing activities such as meals and socialization. This facility is most often used by people with physical and/or mental limitations who need socialization, physical assistance and/or psychological assistance. You can use Choosing an adult care center to help with some thoughts to consider in evaluating a suitable center.

Dementia care is for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory loss issues.

Geriatric care managers are health and human services specialists who help families caring for older relatives. A geriatric care manager is trained and experienced in several fields related to care management including nursing, gerontology, social work or psychology, with a special focus on issues related to aging and elder care. The objective or aim is to assist older adults and people with disabilities in attaining their maximum functional potential.

Home care services is in-home companionship and caregiving to provide non-medical care. The services may include light housekeeping, planning and preparation of meals, grocery shopping, caring companionship, help with mail and paperwork and similar routine chores to allow for independent living at home while minimizing any burden on family and relatives.

Home health care provider or Private duty home care provide home care aides, companion care, homemaker services and may includes nursing services in the client’s home.

Home hospice care is a philosophy of care for those individuals in the final phases of a terminal illness. Hospice-trained certified home health aides offer compassionate care for the client as well as support to the family in this incredibly difficult time.

Home infusion services assist in the administration of home based infusions and thereby avoid the necessity of trips to the doctors office or hospital for such treatments.

Mid-care services are generally personalized visitations with professional oversight to provide customized options to address and resolve issues of everyday living.

Palliative care is an approach to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness, relieves symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. It helps you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. This type of care often uses physical, psychological and spiritual therapies to ease the suffering from pain and other problems.

Private duty nursing is the care of clients by nurses, whether an RN or LPN. In most situations, private duty nurses work one-on-one with individual clients either in the client’s home or an institution, such as a hospital or nursing home.

Respite care provides a specially trained Registered Nurse  or a caregiver or Personal Care aide to take over the personal care responsibilities and allow family members a break when one is caring long hours for a loved one whose health requires a great deal of attention.

Senior citizen centers are often operated by communities or local organizations to provide a place for seniors to relax, engage in activities to help stimulate the mind as well engage in socialized activities.

Do your part to help reduce elder abuseInsist that caregivers be certified and registered at


About Elder Care Advice blog

Get professional elder care giving advice, advocacy, education and tips for those who care for and about the frail elderly at the ElderCareAdvice blog. We are generously sponsored by Most posts are written by Cathleen V. Carr, unless attributed otherwise. We welcome relevant submissions. Submit your article and by-line for publishing consideration (no promises!) to Havi at, our own editor who will ensure submissions are given the best possible treatment and polish before publication, ensuring a professional level of publication. There is a nominal service fee involved ($45). Allow up to 30 days for publishing.
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