Sunday, July 6, 2008


Advance Medical Directives - Advance directives are used to give other people, including health care providers, information about your wishes for medical care. Advance directives are important in case there is ever a time when you are not physically or mentally able to speak for yourself and make your wishes known. The most common types of advance directives are the living will and the durable power of attorney for health care

Bereavement - The act of grieving someone's death

Caregiver - Any person who provides care for the physical and emotional needs of an individual; can be formal (a professional, social worker, or volunteer) or informal (family member or friend)

Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Orders - Instructions written by a doctor telling other healthcare providers not to try to restart a patient's heart, using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other related treatments, if his/her heart stops beating. Usually, DNR orders are written after a discussion between a doctor and the patient and/or family members. DNR orders are written for people who are very unlikely to have a successful result from CPR -- those who are terminally ill or those who are elderly and frail

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOAHC) - A legal document that specifies one or more individuals (called a health care proxy) you would like to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself

End-of-Life Care - Doctors and caregivers provide care to patients approaching the end of life that is focused on comfort, respect for decisions, support for the family, and treatments to help psychological and spiritual concerns

Grief - people's feelings and emotions in response to death, which may or may not include sadness, anger, frustration, guilt, longing, helplessness, hopelessness, and powerlessness

Anticipatory grief - feelings that occur before or in advance of an expected loss

Interdisciplinary team - a team of professional caregivers who work together to develop and implement a plan of care for the individual in hospice; May include doctors, nurses, medical directors, social workers, and a chaplain

Dyspnea - Difficulty in breathing

Fatigue - A feeling of becoming tired easily, being unable to complete usual activity, feeling weak, and difficulty concentrating

Acute Pain - Pain that has a known cause and occurs for a limited time. Acute pain usually responds to treatment with analgesic medications and treatment of the cause of the pain

Chronic Pain - Pain that occurs for more than one month after healing of an injury, that occurs repeatedly over months, or is due to a lesion that is not expected to heal

Delirium - A disturbance of the brain function that causes confusion and changes in alertness, attention, thinking and reasoning, memory, emotions, sleeping patterns and coordination. These symptoms may start suddenly, are due to some type of medical problem, and they may get worse or better multiple times

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