Below is a list of definitions for term referred to on this blog.

Advance Care Planning : The process of discussing an individual’s intentions and desires for their medical care, quality of life and overall treatment.

Caregiver : An individual unrelated to the patient/subject who receives payment to provide services of care such as bathing, cleaning, companionship, transportation, food preparation or some kind of therapy.

Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders (DNR) : A medical directive informing medical personnel of what can and cannot be attempted or admnistered should a patient’s heart cease functioning. A physician will discuss the specifics with the patient or the patient’s healthcare representative before this document or decision is created.

End-of-Life Care : This refers to a course of treatment administered to individuals who are close to the end of their life. Treatment emphasizes obeying the patient’s wishes and seeing to their comfort.

Family Caregiver : An individual related by blood, marriage or close friendship to a patient/subject who provides physical care, emotional support and medical treatment oversight. This position is often unpaid unless payment is contractually agreed to. A family caregiver can live full or part-time with the loved one.

Health Care Advance Directive : This refers to a type of document where an individual can detail their choices as to limitations and scope of medical treatment and who is authorized to make decisions for them.

Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney for Health : A document that an individual uses to appoint a representative. This representative is known as a healthcare proxy who may act as a surrogate for the primary individual in healthcare matters.

Living Will : This is a health care directive document where an individual describes their choices and desires should they become unable to express them himself or herself. This includes provisions for medical care and end-of-life options.