Glossary

Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale and all of Arizona

Accredited or Accreditation: An accredited facility has met and maintained certain quality standards as determined by a private, independent group such as the Better Business Bureau or the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)

Activities of Daily Living: Activities done in a normal day, such as walking, eating, dressing, bathing, grooming, and using the toilet.

Assisted Living Facility: These facilities provide a lesser skilled level of care than a person would get in a nursing home. These are for people who require assistance with tasks such as bathing or eating. These residents live more independently and usually pay a monthly rent plus fees for any additional services they require. Medicare typically does cover these additional expenses.

Bedsore: See decubitus ulcer

Cognitive Impairment: Any type of deterioration in a person's mental state, which may affect the person's ability to think clearly and make decisions for his or herself.

Comprehensive Assessment: This is a comprehensive, accurate, standardized, and reproducible assessment of a resident's functional capacity that must be made within a certain number of days of the resident's admission to a nursing home. Further assessments must be made either once every 12 months or after any significant change in a resident’s physical or mental status.

Damages: Monetary recovery for injuries or losses caused by an unlawful act or the negligence of another.

Decubitus Ulcer: This is a skin ulceration that occurs when prolonged pressure is exerted on a bony area of the body such as the tailbone, heel, elbow, or shoulder blade. The thin flesh covering these bony areas begins to die and may result in deep muscular infection and penetration of internal organs.

Dehydration: This occurs when a person's loss of bodily fluid is more than his or her intake of fluid. Many serious conditions and even death can result from dehydration.

Edema: This refers to any excessive accumulation of water in the body. If left untreated, this can lead to several serious complications, including amputation.

Elopement or Wandering: Occurs when a nursing home resident incapable of self-preservation leaves a nursing home unsupervised and undetected.

Financial Abuse: Any illegal or improper use of a nursing home resident's money, property, or possessions for personal gain.

Gross Negligence: This refers to any intentional failure to use a reasonable duty of care resulting in negative consequences to another.

Health Care Provider: Any person trained and licensed to give health care (doctors and nurses), or a place licensed to provide health care (nursing homes).

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): HIPAA protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs, establishes national standards for electronic health care transactions and helps people keep their information private.

Informed Consent: An individual’s agreement to allow something to happen which is based on full disclosure of the facts necessary to make an intelligent decision.

Living Will: Also referred to as "advance directives," these are instructions made in advance that state how a person wants their health care administered in the event that the person is unable to make decisions for his or herself.

Long-Term Care: Care given in a person's home or in a nursing home when a person has a chronic disability or lengthy illness.

Medicaid: A joint federal and state program that assists with medical costs for low-income people.

Medicare: A federal health insurance program for persons 65 or older, or those under 65 who suffer from certain disabilities.

Neglect: This occurs when a caregiver fails to give a person the care, services, or goods necessary to avoid or prevent harm or illness.

Negligence: Conduct which falls below the standard of care established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risks of harm.

Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987: Federal law that governs nursing homes and establishes nursing home residents’ rights.

Nursing Home: A residential facility that provides care, meals, rehabilitation, medical services, recreational activities and assistance with daily living to ill or injured persons.

Ombudsman: A supporter and representative for nursing home residents who helps solve problems and settle disputes between residents and the nursing home.

Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of physical force that results in bodily injury or pain of any kind.

Power of Attorney: A document authorizing one person to take specific legal actions on behalf of the person giving the power of attorney.

Punitive Damages or Exemplary Damages: Damages greater than is necessary to pay a plaintiff for a loss that are intended to punish the defendant for his or her evil behavior or make an example of him or her.

Restraint: Any physical or chemical means used to prevent a patient from being able to move about freely.

Sexual Abuse: Any form of nonconsensual sexual contact. This includes any unwanted or inappropriate touching, rape, sodomy, sexual coercion, sexually explicit photographing, and sexual harassment.

Standard of Care: The level or degree of care which any reasonable, prudent, or careful person should exercise under the same or similar circumstances.

Statute of Limitations: A time limit or deadline after which a lawsuit cannot be brought.

Subdural Hematoma: A collection of blood on the surface of the brain.

Verbal Abuse: Anything said or done that harms a nursing home resident's self-esteem. This often includes humiliating, insulting, ignoring, intimidating, or frightening a resident.

If you live in the Arizona area, and believe you or a loved one may have a nursing home abuse or neglect case, or if you have any related questions, please contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys, at Cullan & Cullan, M.D., J.D. today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

20830 N. Tatum Blvd, Ste. 360
Phoenix , AZ 85050-7268
602.200.9999

The Arizona nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Cullan and Cullan M.D., J.D. includes lawyers who are also doctors. We are a for profit law firm. We use our medical expertise to more effectively represent victims of nursing home abuse. We do not practice medicine. The information provided on this web site does not constitute an attorney client relationship. For more information about the law firm, contact the Phoenix, Arizona offices of Cullan & Cullan MD., J.D. for a consultation.

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