A broad term used to refer to an individual who provides care to another individual who cannot care for him or herself due to a disability or functional limitation. This individual could provide nonmedical care such as help with bathing or eating or he/she could provide medically necessary care such as changing dressings. The care may be provided informally by a relative, friend or neighbor or by a paid individual who may or may not be a licensed professional. Sometimes referred to as a caretaker, though a caretaker is usually one that looks after or takes charge of goods and property.
More Common Terms
- Alzheimer's Disease A progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys mental functions such as memory and learning. Individuals may also experience changes in personality and behavior.
- Ambulatory The ability to walk freely and independently.
- Power of Attorney A legal document granting someone the right to make decisions for another. In the case of an elder, the document may relate to both financial and health care decisions.