Adults over the age of 60 make up the fastest growing segment of our society, and are among our most valuable resources. They offer us their time, wisdom and experience to help us make wise decisions in our own lives. Missoula is rich with older adults who contribute significantly to our community. We also offer the programs and services to encourage healthy aging
and provide support as they age. In this guide you will find many resources aligned with healthy aging as well as the services you may need to access as you age, from staying active to finding financial help. In addition to the dynamic,
comprehensive services designed to allow people to age gracefully and in place, Missoula offers affordable housing, public transportation and top-notch medical facilities. Missoula’s strong culture of volunteerism helps many older adults stay young at heart and connected to the community. You will also find information about volunteering options in this section.
Glossary of Senior Terms
Activities Of Daily Living (ADLS) – Basics of an individual’s daily routine. If a person cannot perform these without assistance, the person should not live alone. ADL’s include bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, walking/mobility,
transferring, toileting and continence care.
Advance Directives – A written document giving or withholding consent for medical or other professional care in the event that a person becomes unable to provide that direction.
Assisted Living Facility (ALF) – Residential facility for those who need assistance with their ADL’S to remain as independent as possible. These facilities do not typically include any level of nursing care.
Care/Case Management – Assessing, arranging and overseeing an individual’s medical, functional social and financial needs. Professional case managers are typically social workers or nurses.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) – A person who has successfully completed a state training program or course with a focus on ADL’s.
Comfort One – A doctor ordered Do Not Resuscitate order for emergency responders, allowing person to die in the natural course of their illness and receive only comfort care.
Community Based Services – Services designed to help older adults remain independent and in their own home. These services may include senior centers, delivered meals or congregate meal sites, home health care, adult day care, and
companionship and homemaker services.
Conservator – A court-appointed individual or company authorized to manage the financial affairs of a minor, or older adult who can no longer manage his or her own property and financial matters.
Dementia – A clinical term used to describe a group of brain disorders disrupting and impairing cognitive functions such as thinking, memory, judgment, personality, mood and social functioning.
Discharge Planner – The professional staff member of a hospital or nursing home who develops a plan prior to discharge for the future care of a patient.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) – A doctor’s written directive stating that in the case of death the patient/client requests no attempts of resuscitation, to be used in the hospital setting. (See Comfort One)
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) – Medical equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, commodes and raised toilet seats to be used at home.
Durable Power Of Attorney – A written document giving someone power to make decisions regarding healthcare or finances, remaining valid and enforceable despite the incompetence or incapacity of the principal.
Emergency Response System – An electronic device designed to let a person summon help in an emergency. The device transmits a signal over the telephone to an emergency monitoring center.
Home Health Agency (HHA) – A public or private organization with a staff of skilled nurses, homemakers, home-health aides and therapists providing nursing, rehabilitation and homemaking services to homebound patients recovering from major medical treatment or chronic or temporarily debilitating conditions.
Home Health Care – Service performed in the home for an older adult by someone who has special medical training.
Homemaking/Home Care Services – A trained person providing household cleaning, cooking, grocery shop-ping, laundry, and transportation for an older adult.
Hospice – Care for the terminally ill, typically with a life expectancy of 6 months or less. Care can be provided at home, in a nursing home, hospital or hospice facility. It is designed to support both the patient and the family. Hospice care emphasizes pain control, symptom management and emotional support rather than life-sustaining equipment.
Independent Living Facility (ILF) – A housing complex providing support services including meals in a central dining area, weekly housekeeping, social activities and transportation.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – A person currently licensed to practice nursing. Generally works under a registered nurse.
Living Will – A legal expression of an individual’s wishes about future medical treatment at a time when they become incompetent or cannot communicate due to illness.
Long Term Care (LTC) – A general term describing a range of medical nursing, custodial, social and community services designed to help people with chronic health problems or forms of dementia.
Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) – Insurance policies issued by private companies to defray the costs of long term care in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, home care services and community based services.
Medicaid – A United States health insurance program, financed by the federal and state governments and administered by the states, for eligible lowincome people regardless of age. Needy older people can have their Medicare deductibles and co-payments paid by Medicaid. Medicaid may also pay for nursing home and assisted living care if the individual’s income and assets are within certain limits.
Medigap Insurance – Also known as supplemental insurance. Health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill “gaps” in Original Medicare coverage.
Medicare – Federal health insurance for people 65 and older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare Advantage – A type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits.
Nursing Home (NH) – A licensed nursing facility providing a full range of care, medical services and rehabilitation to those recovering from hospitalization or suffering from chronic illness, dementia or other factors making it impossible for them to live at home.
Registered Nurse (RN) – A person who has met all educational requirements from an approved program of professional nursing education and has successfully passed the NCLEX examination leading to current state licensure to practice professional nursing.
Registry – An agency that acts as a broker matching a person with a care provider.
Respite Care – A service providing temporary care for an older adult. The purpose of the care is to allow the primary caregiver some short-term relief from their day-to-day responsibilities. Respite care may be provided in or out of the home.
Reverse Mortgage – A mortgage in which a homeowner, usually an elderly or retired person, borrows money in the form of annual payments which are charged against the equity of the home.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – A licensed facility providing 24-hour medical services by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse aides for seriously ill or severely disturbed people who do not require hospitalization.
Spend Down – Some people have too much income to qualify for Medicaid. This amount is called excess income. Some of these people may qualify for Medicaid if they spend the excess income on medical bills. This is called a spend down.
Spousal Impoverishment – United States regulations allowing the division of some income and assets for a spouse of nursing home resident whose stay is covered by Medicaid.