Home Health Care Glossary

This glossary is to help our home health care community better understand the terms used in relation to care. Please book mark this page for future reference or download our printable version HERE.

Dementia Dementia is a non-specific illness syndrome (set of symptoms) in which affected areas of cognition may be memory, attention, language, and problem solving. Dementia is caused by brain cell damage or injury.
Depression Depression is a psychiatric disorder marked by sadness, inactivity, feelings of hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies. Many severely depressed individuals will have some mental deficits including poor concentration and attention. When dementia and depression are present together, intellectual deterioration may be exaggerated in the depressed person. Depression, whether present, alone, or in combination with dementia, can be reversed with proper treatment. It is one of the most undiagnosed conditions among seniors.
Discharge planner A discharge planner is a social worker or other health care professional who assists hospital patients and their families in transitioning from the hospital to another level of care or facility. This transition includes rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility, home health care in the patient’s home, or long-term care in a nursing home.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) DME is medical equipment that is ordered by a doctor for home use. These items are reusable, such as walkers, wheelchairs, or hospital beds.
Durable power of attorney A legal document that names someone else to make health care decisions for you. This document is helpful should you become unable to make your own decisions.