Glossary
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A feature of a life insurance policy that lets you use some of the policy’s death benefit prior to death.

Federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which oversees programs and services for older adults. A major role is coordination of programs under the Older Americans Act through state-level departments on aging and a nationwide network of local level Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). The AOA is an advocate for program and policy development for services that help vulnerable older persons remain in their own homes by providing supportive services and other programs.

Community-based group programs designed to meet the needs of functionally and/or cognitively impaired adults. Adult day centers provide a caring, home-like setting for individuals who, for their own safety and well-being, can no longer be left at home alone. Adult day centers offer protected settings which are normally open five days a week during business hours and include a mixture of health, social and support services. Specialized programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders also exist.

A category of adult day care which provides comprehensive, professional support in a protected environment including on-site nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and/or other professionals for adults who are experiencing a decrease in physical, mental, and social functioning and require tailored medical and/or psychiatric supervision. Such centers normally offer a wide range of therapeutic and rehabilitative activities as well as social activities, meals, and transportation.

Adult Protective Services (APS) strive to insure the safety and well-being of elders and adults with disabilities who are in danger of being mistreated or neglected, are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm, and have no one to assist them.

In most states, APS caseworkers are the first responders to reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.

Most APS programs serve both older and younger vulnerable adults. In some states, APS is responsible only for cases involving older adults (eligibility may be based on age, incapacity or vulnerability of the adult). A few APS programs serve only younger adults ages 18-59.

A document that becomes effective when someone is terminal and death is imminent, or is in a persistent vegetative state.  It states what “life sustaining” procedures are to be withheld or withdrawn.
A progressive neurological disease that affects brain functions, including short-term memory loss, inability to reason, and the deterioration of language and the ability to care for oneself. An estimated 3% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have Alzheimer’s, rising to about half those age 85 and over. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is incurable.
Created by the federal Older Americans Act, AAAs represent a nationwide network of over 600 program sites. They are the focal point for aging concerns at the community level. Services include information and referral, nutrition, employment, in-home services, counseling, legal services, and day health care with an emphasis on ease of access.
A residential apartment complex which caters to older adults by providing built-in care services and 24-hour on-call assistance. These residential settings maximize independence, but do not provide skilled nursing care. Most ALFs do not accept public financing and rely on private pay from residents or their families.
This term refers to a range of products and technology designed to help elders or people with disabilities lead more independent lives. Examples include special telephones for people with hearing impairments, walking aids, elevated toilet seats, communication devices, etc.
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