Friday, August 22, 2008

Glossary of terms

This list is found in the back of my book.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)--bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing, eating, and other activities necessary for daily living and survival

Agnosia--failure to recognize objects

Aphasia--a disturbance in receptive or expressive language

Apnea--temporary cessations in breathing; this is a sign of approaching death in palliative care patients

Apraxia--loss of understanding of the uses of things

Assistive device--a mechanical aid to make ADL easier

Benign brain tumour--a slow-growing tumour that does not tend to invade nearby cells

Biopsychosocial issues--interrelated biological, psychological, and sociological issues

Carcinogen--a substance that has been proven to cause cancer in living cells

Caregiver--one who provides care

Care recipient--one who receives care

Comorbidities--the effect of all disorders or diseases on an individual in addition to the primary health issue

Dementia--an acquired, persistent impairment in two or more cognitive areas of executive functions; profound mental incapacity

Delirium--• Disturbance of consciousness

• Disorientation, wandering attention, confusion, hallucinations

Dysphagia--choking and swallowing issues

Executive functions--planning, organizing, sequencing, and abstract thought

Frail--premorbid: at risk for biopsychosocial issues; inability to manage physical, social, and emotional needs (ADL)

Geriatric--of or relating to old age or old people

Independent Activities of Daily Living (IADL)--caring for pets and dependents; communicating with others effectively; managing finances and health; doing housework, meal preparation, and cleanup; looking after transportation and safety procedures

Infarct--a small, localized area of dead tissue caused by an inadequate blood supply; can result from blood clots or diabetes

Incontinence--inability to control evacuation of urine or feces

Long-term care (LTC) facility/home--a health care facility for those with physical disabilities that offers 24/7 nursing staff; formerly called a nursing home

Malignant brain tumour--a tumour that grows quickly and invades surrounding cells; these kinds of tumours are the least likely to be totally removed surgically, since they invade and damage important structures

Metastasize--when cancer cells break off from the original site and spread to other parts of the body to cause malignancy there

Morbidity--the quality of disease; the extent of illness, injury, or disability in a defined population

Nurse practitioner--a nurse who meets primary health care needs, conducts physical examinations, selects treatment plans, and identifies medication requirements

Nursing home--now called a long-term care home; differs from a retirement home

Orphan patient--a person without a family physician

Palliative care--giving care at the last stages of life

Polypharmacy--taking too many pharmaceuticals/prescription drugs

Premorbidities--factors that may lead to death

Primary care--basic or general health care from the medical system

Registered nurse (RN)--a nurse who is licensed to practise and is a registered member of a nurses’ association

Registered practical nurse (RPN)--a person who is registered by a professional association of nurses as having been trained to perform basic nursing tasks under the direction of a physician or an RN.

Respite care--temporary institutional or home care of a dependent ill or handicapped person to give respite to the usual caregiver

Retirement home--a private residence for seniors (profit or non-profit); governed by the Landlord Tenant Act

Sleep apnea--intermittent failure to breathe during sleep

Subcortical issues--issues such as plaque and damaged brain cells; physical evidence manifests as dementia

Supportive living--also called assisted living, in which supports are on call 24/7

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