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 Home Care 101: Common Abbreviations

Home Health Care

For those in the home care sphere, it often can feel as though caregiving is a foreign language. There are a myriad of acronyms: and sometimes it can be difficult telling your ADLs from your IADLs! Thus, whether you are a home health aide in South Florida or a caregiver in Palm Beach County, here are some common acronyms you should familiarize yourself with. 

ACP: Advance Care Planning. This is, quite simply, the act by which individuals can plan their care in advance. It is the act of learning about care actions, picking a care plan, and then sharing preferences with a healthcare team.  

AD/ARD: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. These are the debilitating mental conditions that impair memory, the ability to process thoughts, and other mental functioning.

ADL: Activities of Daily Living. These are the skills required to maintain personal wellbeing. They include eating, bathing, grooming, and toileting. 

AARP: American Association of Retired Persons. This organization is specifically for those age 50 and over. Both nonprofit and nonpartisan, their goal is to ensure that quality of life remains high for all individuals as they go through the process of aging.

CNA: Certified Nursing Assistant. This is a care provider that uses their medical expertise to aid in caregiving. Armed with medical training, the CNA can check vital signs, administer catheters, set up medical equipment, and check blood pressure. 

IADL: Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. In contrast to ADLS, IADLs are activities that require slightly more executive functioning. This includes anything that is slightly more difficult than daily tasks: such as coordinating personal transit, shopping, managing personal finances, medication management, etc. 

HFA: Hospice Foundation of America. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to ensuring that the US healthcare system has access to hospice services. 

HHA: Home Health Aide. A home health aide is a caregiver that can aid in providing basic daily care to a patient. This care includes, but is not limited to, light cleaning, bathing, and medication management. In home care, they often require training and licensing; it should be noted that this training varies from state to state. 

RN: Registered Nurse. Quite simply, the RNs job is to oversee a patient’s care. They are there with the patient, pursuing diagnostics, and managing care plans. In the world of home care, RNs are most likely to be overseeing a care team. 

Thanks to our friends at Expicare Nursing for their expertise in elderly assistance services and home health care.