The A-Z of Care Jargon

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Resources | 0 comments


Abuse: Harm caused to another person by anyone who has power or control over them. The Care and Support Statutory Agency identifies ten kinds of abuse, including Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Psychological or emotional abuse, Financial abuse, and Discriminatory abuse. Abuse can be carried out by people such as family members, carers, health and social care professionals and friends.

Access: Access is important for everyone to be able to have and being denied entrance to somewhere due to not being able to access it, such as if you have a disability, can be considered discrimination. If you don’t have access to somewhere or something you need you can insist changes are made in certain circumstances.

Accountability: A company or organisation may be accountable to regulatory bodies, for instance Helping Hands is accountable to the Care Quality Commission and Care Inspectorate Wales. On a personal and professional basis, it is important to admit failings and accept recommendations for change when they come.

Acquired Impairment: When you acquire a disability at some point during your life, due to an injury, accident or illness.

Activated Patient: A person who is able to communicate confidently with the professionals caring for them, due to having a good understanding of the health condition they are living with and the treatment they are being given. They are actively engaged in their treatment plan and wish to implement the best ways to look after themselves.

Active Listening: Active listening is a way of demonstrating that you are invested in what the person you’re with is communicating to you. For instance, you will give them your full attention, make eye contact, not interrupt, not be distracted by other activities, and repeat back what you believe they have said so that you can be sure you have understood fully.

Active Participation: When you have care and support you should be able to have a say in how you spend your time and live your life. This is known as active participation.

Active Support: People who are living with a learning disability should have the opportunity for support that lets them partake in activities that promotes their daily life, rather than what is labelled as therapy. It is a more person-centred and holistic support, tailored to the person as a whole.

Activities Of Daily Living: Activities that a person undertakes every day as part of caring for oneself. If you are struggling to look after yourself then you will be assessed on what extra support you need to carry out these activities.

Acute Care: Hospital-based care that you will receive following surgery, injury or illness. This is different to care you may receive in or out of hospital for an ongoing condition, although this may still be delivered by the same or similar healthcare professionals.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): An identified condition that means a person may be over-active and will struggle to concentrate or manage their behaviour. ADHD is not a learning disability, as it can be managed with medication in some cases, and appropriate support.

Adult At Risk: A person who has been identified as being unable to protect themselves from the risk of neglect, exploitation or harm due to age, a disability, or mental/physical health conditions.

Adult Placement Scheme: Can be described as a ‘fostering’ arrangement for adults who, due to disability or mental health, need to live in someone else’s home. This can be on a long-term, permanent or short-term respite basis. Placement providers will need to approved by the local council and monitored regularly.

Adult Social Care: Support and care for adults who require extra help to live as independently as possible. Such care and support may be provided in their own homes or residential care. Entitlement will be decided through assessment of needs which will lead to appropriate provision of services or funds allocation that will allow you to arrange and pay for your own support. Funds will cover carer services and any adaptations or aids needed.

After Care: This is the support you will receive at home or in the community once you’re discharged from hospital. With regard to mental health, it refers to the support you may receive from a community psychiatric nurse, counsellor, or associated support to do with finances, employment, accommodation etc.

Agency: An organisation that provides care and support but is independent of the local authority. This can include care delivered in a person’s own home by a home care agency. The person may arrange this for themselves or the local council may do this on their behalf.

Allied Health Professionals: These are people who work alongside doctors, nurses or pharmacists to provide care services, both in the community, in people’s homes, in hospitals or in other care settings. These can include carers, occupational therapists, dieticians and physiotherapists, amongst many others.

Assisted Living: Assisted living could be considered as somewhere between your own home and a residential home. In this type of accommodation, you own or rent your own property (usually a flat) and you are then able to access certain support services that are provided on site, such as meals, laundry and activities. These developments are usually only available to people over a certain age, or who are living with disabilities.

Asymptomatic: This describes being infected with a disease while not showing any symptoms. At any time, there can be people carrying certain diseases while not appearing ill because of it. This can make it particularly difficult to avoid coming into contact with certain diseases, which is particularly dangerous for people who have suppressed immune systems due to a pre-existing condition.

Authorised Person: If you are entitled to direct payments from the local authority to cover your care provision but do not have mental capacity, you will have an authorised or nominated person to receive these payments on your behalf. As with any aspect of your life, the authorised person will be expected to act in your best interests at all times.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Autism spectrum disorder, also referred to as Autism, is a condition that someone is born with, which affects different aspects of their ability to communicate and interact with others and the wider world. Symptoms of Autism can be mild or more severe and the amount of support a person requires will depend on the severity of their condition.

Autonomy: Even if a person needs a great deal of care and support to live as independent a life as possible, they should still be able to retain control over their own life and make their own decisions. This will be affected by whether they have mental capacity, but even if not, they should still be as involved as possible in decisions that affect them and be treated with dignity at all times.


Bariatric: When a person is provided with specialised treatment to help with obesity. Obesity can cause physical changes and can lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Type of treatments includes metabolic or bariatric surgery, otherwise known as weight loss surgery.

Behaviour Disorders: A pattern of behaviour that isn’t usually accepted and causes distress to those around them. This may include aggressive behaviour, anxiety and inattention. The most common types of behaviour disorders are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD).

Behaviour Support Plan: A plan that is created for an adult or child who has behaviour difficulties or a disability that affects their daily life and those around them, including family, teachers, peers and employers. It lists strategies to help make them feel at ease and ensure their needs are met. This may include how to communicate with them, their likes and dislikes and things to remember and avoid when working with them.

Behavioural Intervention: A type of strategy to improve someone’s behaviour. This is done by taking necessary steps to help to promote appropriate behaviour.

Benchmark: A way of measuring or judging something against a standard. For example, a health service may use benchmarking to see what is needed to provide an effective and well responsive service.

Best Interests: Doing or acting in one’s best interest is when you do something beneficial for someone. You may act in someone’s best interest if they are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Best Interests Assessor: This is a specialist role carried out by health care professionals including social workers and occupational therapists. They look at whether it’s in someone’s best interest to be staying in the hospital or care home.

Best Practice: A way of doing something that is the most accepted or correct way of doing it. For example, guidelines for how a business may deal with any problems or issues that may occur.

Better Care Exchange: This is a social community for health, housing and social care professionals. They work effectively together to provide a better care service for people who need it. It is also a collaboration to share knowledge and information on implementing a Better Care Fund plan.

Better Care Fund: A budget that is created for the Health and Social Care services to help improve care services in their local areas. This was launched so people would receive better person-centred care and support.


Capabilities: What you’re able to do by yourself, and what extra assistance might enable you to be able to do.

Capacity: The extent to which your condition allows you to process information, make your own decisions, engage with your surroundings and communicate clearly. Capacity may be limited by mental health problems, types of dementia or learning disabilities.

Capacity To Consent: Having capacity to consent means that you understand what you’re agreeing to, and are able to make others aware of whether you agree or disagree.

Care Funding Calculator: The method by which many councils work out how much a person’s care plan will cost, based on your daily support needs.

Care Home: A residential home where you live with other people also receiving care from a dedicated team of care staff. Care homes can be either privately run or owned by a charity or local council.

Care Package: The support services you’re provided with after a comprehensive assessment of your circumstances and condition.

Care Pathway: A dedicated plan for the care of an individual who is living with a medical condition and requires different care services. It provides a clear outline of what is expected to happen when, and who is responsible.

Care Plan: A detailed plan of what your care and support requirements are, how they will be met, and what support services you will receive. It will also take your preferences and priorities into account.

Care Quality Commission (CQC): The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.

Carer: A person who provides paid or unpaid support to someone who is ill, struggling or disabled and requires additional help.

Carer’s Allowance: Weekly financial provision from the Government for anyone supporting a partner, family member, friend or neighbour who requires additional care. Your ability to claim carer’s allowance is dependent on how many hours of care you give per week, what benefits the person you’re caring for currently receives, and how much you earn.

Carer’s Assessment: Anyone who is an unpaid carer for a family member or friend has the right to talk to their local council about what their own personal needs are, and mention anything that might help them manage their own health and well-being. The council will then make a decision on how to best help you.

Challenging Behaviour: Behaviour that might be harmful to the person or to those around them, potentially making it difficult for them to leave the house and be part of society.

Champion: An individual who is tasked with supporting and speaking up for a particular thing.

Cerebral Palsy: A group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood.

Choice Of Accommodation: If you’re living in a care home and your local council is paying your fees, you have the right to say where you’d prefer to live. The council should try to arrange a place for you in your home of choice, providing it meets certain criteria.

Chronic Condition: A progressive, persistent or long-lasting illness that cannot be cured but that can normally be managed with medication, care, support and treatments.

Circle Of Support: 
The group of people who act as a community around a person in need of help and support.

Clinical Audit: 
The process of determining whether a care provider is delivering support to a sufficiently high standard, and looking at what needs to be done better.

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG): 
This has been replaced by the integrated care systems (ICSs)

Clinical Effectiveness: 
Using knowledge from research about best healthcare practices to help get the best results for people.

Clinical Governance: 
A way for care providers to continuously improve the quality and safety of their care services, and to outline how they are doing this.

Clinical Impact: 
The effect that a specific type of treatment has on the people who receive it.

Clinical Negligence: 
When a doctor or other health professional causes you harm because of something they did, or something they should have done, and this harm would have not have otherwise occurred.

Clinical Outcomes: 
Any change in your quality of life or well-being that comes about as a result of medical treatment or care.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: 
A branch of therapy that enables you to manage your problems through helping change the way you think and behave.

Cognitive Impairment: 
A problem with your brain that might cause difficulty with remembering things, solving problems, learning new ideas or making decisions. Can vary in severity.

Community Care Services: Social care services that can help you to enjoy a better quality of life and retain your independence at home.

Complex Needs: You may have complex needs if you regularly require a high level of support and are reliant on a range of health and social care services.

When a person or organisation does what is required of them. This might involve a care provider abiding by regulations and laws, or an individual doing something like taking their prescription.

An opportunity to share your views and thoughts about a particular service or proposed change before the final decisions have been made.

Continuing Health Care: 
Ongoing care outside of a hospital setting for someone who is ill or disabled, typically arranged and funded by the NHS.

Continuity Of Care: 
Continuity of care can either mean seeing the same medical professional every time you have an appointment, or having your care well coordinated by numerous different professionals who communicate well with each other and with you.


Daily Living Costs: This is an amount you’ll have to budget for that covers things such as rent, food, bills and any other expenses.

Day Services: The opportunity to undertake activities while living in your own home. This could be via online learning, at day centres, learning new skills or educational opportunities, depending on what your local council or learning centres offer. These activities may not be free.

Deferred Payments: When you require care, your local authority will carry out a needs and financial assessment to see how much care you need and whether you are able to pay for it yourself. If it is decided that your house needs to be sold for you to move into a care home then the council may pay your fees until your house is sold. Once sold, you would then have to repay the council. This usually occurs when someone has limited savings but owns their own house. By remaining in your home for care with Helping Hands you will not be subject to the risk of your home being sold – another good reason to receive your care at home.

Degenerative Condition: A degenerative condition is one that gets worse over time, sometimes also referred to as progressive or life-limiting.

Delayed Discharge: When you are well enough to be discharged from hospital but due to a lack of available care at home or elsewhere, you are unable to be discharged.

Delayed Transfer Of Care (DTOC): This is very similar to Delayed Discharge, meaning that your discharge from hospital is delayed even though you are medically well enough, due to the care you need upon discharge not being in place in your home or elsewhere.

Dementia Friends Champions: are volunteers who run dementia sessions in their community that encourage people locally to learn a little about dementia, and how they can support those living with the condition.

Developmental Disability: A disability that affects a person throughout their life due to the way their brain has developed. This could include physical difficulties, talking, mobility and independent living.

Diagnostic Overshadowing: When you’re living with a particular disability or health condition, medical professionals may explain other symptoms or health concerns under the umbrella of the existing health condition, potentially missing illnesses or not diagnosing things correctly.

Diagnostic Pathway: When you are suspected of having a particular illness or condition, the diagnostic pathway is the series of assessments and tests you may undertake to get a definite answer.

Diagnostic Tool: Used as part of the Diagnostic Pathway, a diagnostic tool is a test such as a questionnaire or medical test to assist in your diagnosis.

Dignity: Dignity is key in the care and support you should receive. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, meaning you feel as if you matter. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, whether customer or caregiver, regardless of mental capacity.

Dignity In Care: A national campaign to highlight the need for dignity in all aspects of care. Led by the National Dignity Council, Dignity Champions form part of a nationwide network of individuals and organisations who work to put dignity and respect at the heart of UK care services to enable a positive experience of care.

Direct Payments: Money paid to you or your advocate so that you can arrange your own care, rather than receive social care arranged by your local council. These payments are only for people who have been assessed as eligible to receive social care funded by the council.

Discharge Planning: This is the plan that will be implemented so that you can be discharged from hospital in a timely and appropriate manner. This covers the place you will go and how your needs will be met once you are discharged. This planning should begin as soon as you begin your course of treatment in hospital so that everything happens as anticipated. You and your representatives should always usually be part of these discussions.

Discharge Summary: When you have been in hospital your GP should be sent a report of why you were in hospital, the treatment you received, test results, changes to medication and any care that you will need after discharge. You or your advocate should also receive a copy of the report.

Discharge To Assess (D2A): The care and support you may need upon being discharged from hospital. This care may be able to be provided in your home so that you can leave hospital while your future care and support is being planned out. This means your independence can be assessed amongst other aspects of your ability while you’re in your own home.

Disclosure and Barring Service: A criminal record check carried out by a government organisation. This prevents unsuitable people being able to work with vulnerable children or adults. All Helping Hands carers are DBS screened before they are able to work alone with their customers.

Discrimination: Discrimination is when a person or group of people are treated differently because of their age, sex, race, or other characteristics that are protected. This can affect the opportunities they are offered as well as other things.


Early Discharge Planning: As soon as a person enters hospital there should be a plan beginning to form for when they will be discharged. Ideally staff should be able to tell you within the first couple of days when you can expect to be discharged. Collaboration between hospital and community services will be key to planning your early discharge.

Early Intervention: Early intervention is key to ensuring that older people or people with disabilities get to remain as independent as possible and manage any conditions they are living with. This may also apply to children and young people.

Eligibility: If your needs fit the criteria for the service or support you require then you can be considered eligible.

Eligible Care and Support Needs: If you need support to carry out your personal care, getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, looking after your home or other everyday tasks then your local council has an obligation to you to meet these needs. The Care Act 2014 has a national minimum eligibility threshold which your local council must adhere to.

EMD: EMD is an abbreviation of Elderly Mental Dementia. This typically refers to those people who are living with dementia-like symptoms or have been diagnosed with a form of dementia. Dementia is the word used by professionals to describe a group of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly.

EMI: The term EMI stands for Elderly Mentally Infirm, referring to a deterioration of physical strength, mental agility or both. This usually refers to older people who develop a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s and are in need of more comprehensive care.

Enablement: Enablement services help you to become more independent at home by offering assistance with daily living skills after a hospital stay, illness or because of general poor health. This help can last for several weeks in your own home.

Equality Impact Assessment: The impact of any new policy or project that is implemented has to be measured against every faction of society to ensure that no-one is made worse off or left out entirely by it. This includes people from ethnic minorities, the disabled, or older people.

Equity Release: If you own your own home then you may have the option to release money from the value of it to pay for care, or other things of your choice. You should always seek independent expert financial advice before going ahead with equity release to make sure it’s right for you, because the money will need to be paid back after your death or if you move into a care home permanently.

Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care: Local council advice from government on planning their coronavirus response for people who need additional support with their social care.

Evaluation: Evaluation is critical to ensure that something works as it is required to, whether that’s a policy, practice or care delivery. Helping Hands’ care is constantly evaluated to ensure that it is suitable for each customer its delivered to, and we have the flexibility to adjust your care so that it always remains person-centred.


Fast-track Pathway: When a person’s condition is deteriorating quickly or they’re near the end of their life, a fast-track assessment for continuing health care funding can be undertaken and the care put into place quickly, usually within 48 hours.

Financial Assessment: Your council will conduct a financial assessment to work out how much you need to pay towards your necessary care, if anything. Once your care and support needs have been assessed, the financial aspects will be examined, and recommendations made.

First Contact: When you first contact your local council’s care system and request assessment, so that your care needs can be looked into and begin to be put into place.

Fluctuating Needs: It should never be presumed that a person’s care needs will remain the same once assessed. Care needs can change over time as a person’s condition deteriorates or gets better, and the care system should be able to cope with that. Helping Hands’ person-centred care is always flexible to change as your needs fluctuate, and we’ll deliver a support plan that will take into account every aspect of your needs, especially in the case of an emergency.

Frailty: Older age can produce natural frailties but these can also occur after you’ve had an accident, illness or surgery. It can also mean you take longer to recover and may more likely spend time in hospital. Although not a disability, it can occur in people because of their disabilities.

Functional Ability: This is your ability to undertake everyday tasks for yourself, such as preparing food, doing housework and carrying out personal care. Illness or disability can affect whether you’re able to do these things for yourself and you may need to be assessed to see if you require additional support at home. Helping Hands can offer you care and support at home on both a visiting and live-in basis whether you have age-related frailties, consequences of illness or disability or you’re living with social isolation.

Functional Assessment: You will require a Functional Assessment from a professional when it is clear that your Functional Ability is reduced. They will have assessments and tasks which they will use to check how much additional support you require at home.


Gastric Bypass: A gastric bypass is a type of weight-loss surgery where surgical staples are utilised to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach. This pouch then connects to your small intestine, bypassing the stomach. You should therefore feel full after consuming less food and should absorb fewer calories.

Gastric Sleeve: This procedure is where a large part of the stomach is removed leaving it much smaller than it previously was. You will therefore not be able to eat as much after the surgery and will feel fuller sooner.


Health & Wellbeing: Having good health isn’t always a choice, as if a person has an illness there may not be anything they can do to improve it. However, most individuals can make life choices that can have a positive or negative impact on their health. There are also several steps that can be undertaken to lead to mental wellbeing. These include connecting with other people to avoid social isolation, being as physically active as possible, learning new skills, and trying to undertake mindfulness and be present in the moment.

Holistic Care: When an individual is being cared for their care should always consider their holistic or ‘whole-person’ wellbeing. This includes their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

Home Care: Also known as domiciliary care, this is care carried out in your own home by professional caregivers to ensure you get to live your best quality of life at home. Home care can be delivered by a private homecare company such as Helping Hands, or by an agency paid for by your local authority. Helping Hands offers domiciliary care on both a visiting and live-in basis to ensure that all of your needs are met.

Home First: This service exists in some areas so that when you are ready to leave hospital any support you need can be put in place for you at home. An assessment will be carried out in your own home on the day you leave hospital and focusses on making sure the care you need can be delivered in your home. This can also be used to avoid the need for you going into hospital at all, where possible.


Immediate Needs Annuity: If you need care and want to pay for it up front, then an Immediate Needs Annuity is a lump sum payment made to an insurance company which is then paid to you regularly to cover your care costs. This income is guaranteed for your lifetime, but you will need a medical assessment to confirm the level of care you need. Independent advice should always be sought before you purchase an annuity to make sure it is the right one for your needs.

Impairment: A condition, either physical or mental that a person is born with or is caused by illness or injury.

Independent Living: Being able to live the best quality of life you want to, the way you want to. Independent living doesn’t necessarily mean living alone, it is more about you receiving the support you need and want to live as independently as possible and your right to receive that support.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA): A person who knows about the Mental Capacity Act and the way it applies to people’s rights. If a person over the age of 16 doesn’t have the capacity to make their own decisions and has no-one else to represent them, they can be supported by an IMCA.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA): If a person is being treated under the Mental health Act they should be offered this service. IMHAs help you to have your voice and views heard and to understand your legal rights. This is not the same as an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate however there may be times when a person needs the support of both an IMCA and an IMHA.

Integrated Care: Integrated care is where different organisations work together to provide the very best support for an individual. Integrated care aims to put the individual at the centre of their care plan, by ensuring that different professionals who are involved in their care work seamlessly together to achieve the same outcomes.

Intensive Care: Intensive Care Units or ICUs are wards for people who are extremely ill. They provide specialist treatment and monitoring by specially trained healthcare professionals. They are often called Critical Care Units (CCUs), or Intensive Therapy Units (ITUs).

Intermediate Care: Intermediate care is designed to try and keep you at home for your care, rather than you having to go into hospital, or if you’ve been in hospital it will help you to be discharged early. It lasts for a short period of time, usually up to six weeks, and doesn’t cost anything. It consists of a wide range of services that can be delivered by various healthcare professionals in the community.

Intervention: Interventions can happen in various walks of life and healthcare situations, where a person or people take action to improve a situation or prevent it getting any worse.


Joint Assessment: This can mean you’re having an assessment with more than one type of care professional at a time, or it could be that both the customer and their caregiver are being assessed.

Jaundice: When the whites of the eyes or the skin turns yellow, this is known as jaundice. It needs to be investigated urgently by a medical professional as it can be a sign of something serious.


Learning Disability: Someone can have a learning disability from birth, and it may manifest as a difficulty to reach expected developmental milestones in childhood. It can be a mild or severe brain impairment that means someone may struggle to communicate, learn new skills, or process complex information.

Live-in Care: Live-in Care is a type of care that sees a carer residing in the customer’s home with them, so that they can be with them continuously to deliver care and support. Helping Hands specialises in live-in care, and we have thousands of customers who benefit from having a dedicated carer with them in their own home at all times. Knowing there is someone caring for their loved one around the clock can also provide real peace of mind to the person’s loved ones, especially if they live some distance away.

Long-Term Condition: A long-term condition cannot usually be cured; however, a person can receive treatments, therapies and medications that help them to manage it.


Malnourished: Not having sufficient or balanced vitamins, minerals and nutrients in your diet.

Mental Capacity Act: Created in 2005 to protect people who are unable to make decisions regarding their own care, property or finances because of a mental health condition, learning disability, brain injury or illness.

Mental Health Problems: Experiencing difficulties with the way you think, react and feel, which affect your ability to cope with life, make choices and relate to other people.

Model of Care: A method of delivering care based on a set of beliefs and principles about what is right and works best.

Motor Neurone: An uncommon condition that affects the nerves and brain and causes progressive weakness.


National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE): An organisation that informs the improvement of health and social care services in England and Wales.

Needs and Safety Assessment (NSA): The gathering of information relating to your care needs and any potential risks you may face, to produce a bespoke care plan.

Needs Assessment: An evaluation of whether you need additional help or support because of your age, physical condition, disability or illness. A needs assessment can be arranged through the adult social services department at your local council.

Next of Kin: Your closest relative, either by marriage or blood. Next of kin is not the same as power of attorney.

NICE guidelines: Recommendations around health and care support that are made by an organisation called NICE, with the aim of find the best value care for your needs and circumstances.

Nominated Individual: The person responsible for leading a care service and ensuring it’s being delivered safely and to a high standard.


Obese: This is when a person is overweight and refers to excessive fat that can be a huge risk to someone’s health. It can potentially lead to life-threatening conditions including, type 2 diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease.

Occupational Therapist: A healthcare professional that provides help for people who have difficulties carrying out daily activities. This may be due to a disability, illness, operation, ageing, or other long-term conditions. Occupational therapists work with people of all different ages.

Older People: A person over the age of 65 may be considered as an older person, but according to the NHS there is no strict definition as people can age at different rates. For example, “someone aged 75 may be healthier than someone aged 60.”

Organ Failure: When a major organ stops working, such as the brain, heart, lungs and kidneys. Those who may have a higher risk of organ failure include individuals who have had surgery or a history of heart disease. If an essential system in the body fails, life support is used until the organ can start working again.


Palliative: Palliative or palliative care refers to specialised care provided for people living with a terminal or life-limiting condition. People who may require palliative care include those living with different types of dementia and cancer. They are provided with therapies and treatments to help manage their symptoms and condition.

Pathway: A clear written document that sets out the way a particular condition or illness should be managed or treated. This is used to help improve the patient’s health. This may also outline the process of care and medication.

Person-Centred Care: Providing a person with one-to-one, personalised care. This type of care puts the person in the centre of their care plan and focuses on their needs, values and requirements. Its aim is to help improve the quality of their life.

Power of Attorney: A person to act or make decisions on your behalf, if you are unable to do so yourself. These decisions can include legal, financial, or health and welfare matters.

Practitioner: A person who practices a skilled profession such as nursing and medical.

Pre-Assessment: When organising care for yourself, a friend or a family member, a pre-assessment must be completed. This is where you get in touch with the local council or a care company to decide whether a full assessment is needed. This provides an insight into the person’s lifestyle and condition.

Public Health England: A part of the Department of Health and Social Care that aims to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing and address health inequalities.


Quality Assurance: Improving the quality of services provided by an organisation by assessing each stage of the service. Examples can include customer and employee reviews.

Quality of Care: Ways of improving care so that companies can continue to provide a consistently high-quality service for their customers.  According to World Health Organization, quality health care services should be effective, safe, people-centred, timely, equitable, integrated and efficient.


Rapid Response: A service that provides support in the form of a health professional or care worker to help you manage a problem or offer emergency support for a short period of time – typically a few days.

Reablement: A process that supports your independence through helping you to relearn or regain skills that may have been limited or lost as a result of illness, accident or disability.

Reasonable Adjustments: Changes that employers and public service providers have to make to allow people with disabilities to do a job or access a service. Reasonable adjustments can be physical changes, such as providing special equipment, or practical changes like amending working hours.

Re-Assessment: If your situation has changed after your needs or finances have been assessed, you may be required to undergo another assessment.

Rehabilitation: When you are being actively assisted to recover from injury or illness, to the point where you regain the ability to support yourself.

Residential Care: Care in a dedicated home, typically for older people with medical conditions or disabilities who require more attentive care.

Respite: A short-term care service that provides the regular carer with a break from their work by handling their care responsibilities.

Responsive Care: Care that can be adapted accordingly to your developing needs as your circumstances and condition change.

Risk Assessment: A holistic assessment of your well-being, safety, health and ability to personally undertake your daily routines.

Risk Enablement: Having the ability to make your own choices and undertake activities and routines that other people might consider ‘risky’.

Risk Management: The process of assessing which situations and activities might be risky for your health or well-being, and taking measures to ensure you reduce or eliminate the risk of harm.


Safeguarding: The act of making sure that at-risk adults are not being subjected to abuse, neglect or exploitation, and shielding them from being cared for by people who are deemed ‘unsuitable’.

Self-Assessment: A form or questionnaire that is completed by the person receiving care which outlines their circumstances and their reason for needing support.

Service User: Someone who is receiving care services from a support provider.

Short Breaks: When a person receiving care and support spends short, regular periods of time away from their regular carer, giving both parties a break and the opportunity to do something different.

Social Care: Any sort of support or assistance that is required to help an individual live as comfortably, independently and securely as possible.

Social Worker: A trained and qualified professional who helps individuals and families to improve their situations and lives by arranging to put in place things that they require.

Support Plan: A plan that you develop that details how you will spend your personal budget to show your local council that you’ve got defined objectives and outcomes that you hope to achieve.


Tailored Support: Dedicated care or assistance that is specifically designed around your particular needs and preferences.

Tertiary Care: Highly specialised health care that requires specific expertise and equipment, generally only available in specialist hospitals.

Triage: The process of determining the severity of your illness and condition and the type of care you’ll require, as well as the level of urgency with which you’ll need medical attention.


Universal: Giving people access to all the health services they need, when and where they require them, without it being a financial burden.

Urgent Care: 
Support you can access at short notice; whether that’s for medical attention or for home care services.


Vaccine: A vaccine is often created from a weakened form of the infectious disease it has been created to protect someone against. It is a biological preparation that can provide immunity in some cases.

Ventilator: A ventilator is a machine that will help you to breathe if you are unable to do so unassisted. This could be because a disease or illness has affected your lungs’ ability to breathe for you unaided.

Visiting Care: Visiting Care is where you have a carer come to your home for prearranged calls as often as you need them, so that you can live as independent a life as possible at home. Helping Hands offers visiting care from just 30 minutes per week, up to as many times as you require care, both day and night. Our visiting carers can support you with every aspect of your daily routine, such as personal care, medication, meal preparation, housework and so much more.


Wellbeing: Good physical and mental wellbeing is something that everyone hopes to have throughout their life, meaning they can have control over their own life and decisions. Other factors not related to health can also be important, such as having enough money, opportunities to socialise, conducting good relationships and undertaking activities that they enjoy. Even though these are not directly related to health, physical and emotional wellbeing can be affected if the opportunity for these things doesn’t exist.


Zero Tolerance: Zero Tolerance is a declaration that an organisation will not stand for abusive behaviour towards their staff, whether physical or verbal. The government introduced a zero-tolerance policy for NHS staff after around 15% declared they had been victims of violence and many more had been verbally abused while carrying out their duties. The policy also made clear that CQC-registered healthcare providers would also be expected to work to a zero-tolerance approach.

Pets as Therapy

Pets as Therapy

Many individuals find solace and joy in the companionship of pets. However, concerns arise when transitioning to care or nursing homes, as residents fear parting with their...

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