TEXAS NON-PROFIT HOSPICE ALLIANCE
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glossary

Glossary

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Abnormal: Something not considered normal (ex: a temperature is abnormal if it's more than 2 degrees below or above 97-99 degrees Fahrenheit)

Advocate: Person that gives you support or protects your rights

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Basic activities of caring for oneself: eating, dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, moving back and forth from a bed to a chair, and remaining continent

Acute Illness: Illness or condition characterized by sudden onset or marked symptoms

Administrator: Person appointed by the court to manage one's estate when he or she dies without leaving a will. Administrators have the same duties as executors

Adjuvant Treatment: Added treatment to what is already being done

Advance Directives: Legal document in which a patient states his or her medical care preferences, should he or she become incapacitated

Advanced Illness: Serious disease or condition that has progressed too far to be cured

Adverse Effect: Negative side effects of a treatment or medication

Alopecia: Temporary or permanent loss of hair

Alzheimer's Disease: Most common form of dementia, a chronic organic brain disease leading to progressive loss of brain functional and eventual death

Ambulatory: Ability of someone to walk or move freely

Analgesic: Pain-relieving drug

Anaphylaxis: Exaggerated allergic reaction to proteins and other substances

Anemia: Condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells, hemoglobin, or total volume

Aneurysm: Swollen or distended area in a blood vessel wall

Angina: Pain that results from not enough blood going to the heart

Antibiotic: Any one of many drugs that can inhibit or destroy microorganisms and control infections

Anticipatory Grief: Deep emotional distress that occurs when someone has a prolonged illness and death is expected (by patient and family)

Antibody: Substance produced by the immune system to fight invading organisms, such as viruses

Antidepressant: Prescribed drugs used to treat depression

Apnea: Extended periods when breathing stops during sleep

Appreciated Property: Personal property that increases in value over time

Arrest: Cessation of bodily activity (ex: cardiac arrest means that the heart has stopped beating; respiratory arrest means cessation of breathing)

Arrhythmia: Any variation from a normal, regular heart beat

Art Therapy: Use of art activities to help children communicate feelings or thoughts about the death of a significant person in their lives. Also used with the elder Alzheimer patients as a memory enhancement

Aspiration: Fluid that gets into the lungs

Assessment: Evaluation of a person's level of physical or mental function and the extent of services needed

Assisted living facility (ALF): Out-of-home care option for elderly persons who continue to lead relatively active, healthy, and independent lives

Asthma: Lung disease characterized by difficulty in breathing and by coughing and wheezing

Assets: All of a person's properties, including real estate, cash, stocks and bonds, art, furniture, etc.

Asymptomatic: Someone without any symptoms

Ataxia: Jerky unsteadiness of the limbs and body due to disease in a particular part of the brain

Atrophy: A wasting or withering away of organs or tissue, usually muscle due to immobility

Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome: Implies a loss of immune system function (commonly referred to as AIDS)

Autonomy: Principle that individual actions and choices should not be constrained by others

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