Definitions

Hospice Palliative Care
The World Health Organization defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication, a time for you to reflect on your values and wishes, and to let others know your future health and personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care.

Advance care planning means having discussions with family and friends, especially your Substitute Decision Maker – the person who will speak for you when you cannot. It may also include writing down your wishes, and may even involve talking with healthcare providers and financial and legal professionals.

Alternate / Complementary Integrative Therapies
Alternate or complementary integrative therapies are terms often used to describe independent healing systems outside the realm of conventional medical theory and practice.

Caregiver
A caregiver can be broadly defined as anyone who provides care. This definition can be further broken into two categories of caregivers, formal and informal.

Formal caregivers are members of an organization and accountable to defined norms of conduct and practice. They may be professionals, support workers, or volunteers. They are sometimes called 'providers'.

Informal caregivers are not members of an organization. They have no formal training, and are not accountable to standards of conduct or practice. They may be family members or friends.

Family
The term family refers to those closest to the patient in knowledge, care and affection and may include:

  • the biological family
  • the family of acquisitions (related by marriage/contract)
  • the family of choice and friends (including pets)

The patient defines who will be involved in his/her care and/or present at the bedside

Provider
A provider is a formal caregiver who is a member of an organization and accountable to defined norms of conduct and practice. They may be professionals, support workers, or volunteers.

Volunteer
A volunteer is a person who freely gives of his/her time, talent, and energy. Volunteers are members of an organization and accountable to that organization's standards of conduct and practice.

 
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