Continuing Care Glossary

Continuing Care

Acute Care: Acute care is a branch of healthcare where a person receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery. In general terms, care for acute health conditions is the opposite from chronic care, or longer term care.

Advance Care Planning: Advance care planning is a process which encourages people to reflect and think about their values regarding future health care choices; explore medical information that is relevant to their health concerns; communicate wishes and values to their loved ones, their agent/alternate decision-maker and their health care team; and record those choices.

More information on: Advance Care Planning.

Alternate Level of Care (ALC): Alternate level of care identifies when a patient is occupying a bed in an acute, mental health, or rehabilitation facility; or occupying a sub-acute or transition bed in any facility and has been assessed as not requiring the intensity of resources/services provided in that care setting but is waiting transfer to a setting that provides a different level of care. The patient is deemed to be waiting in an alternate level of care (ALC) than the patient’s care needs require.

Case Manager: The case manager is the health professional that will help navigate the continuing care system. A case manager has the primary responsibility to work with clients to assess needs and assist with service options. They may also be called a transition coordinator.

Client Directed Care: Refers to a range of Alberta Health Services home care service delivery options that involve clients taking active participation in the selection of staff to meet their assessed needs. It may also involve clients with active management of financial resources provided directly to them by AHS Home Care to meet their assessed needs. Such service options may include but are not limited to Self Managed Care and Client Directed Home Care Invoicing.

Client Directed Home Care Invoicing (CDHCI): An Alberta Health Services home care service delivery option for clients who are eligible, able, and willing to direct their own care with financial claims administration managed by Alberta Blue Cross.  An AHS case manager will work collaboratively to assist in meeting a person’s self-care goals.

Continuing Care: A range of services that support the health and well-being of individuals living in their own home, a supportive living accommodation or continuing care home. Continuing care clients are defined by their need for care, not by their age or diagnosis or the length of time they may require service.

Continuing Care Home: Continuing care home means a facility or part of a facility where facility-based care is provided to residents, some of whom must be eligible residents. Continuing care homes are publicly funded facility-based accommodations that provide care (health and support services) appropriate to meet the resident’s assessed needs. The type of care needed is determined through a standardized assessment and single point of entry process and consists of Type A, Type B and Type C. Individuals admitted into Continuing Care Homes Type A and B are required to pay accommodation fees (room and board and other costs associated) as set by Alberta Health.

Continuing Care Home Medical Director: A physician working with the facility to provide oversight of medical services.

Continuing Care Home Type A (formerly Long Term Care): This environment provides onsite RN and/or registered psychiatric nurse (RPN) care, assessment and/or treatment 24-hours a day. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) may also be onsite in addition onsite personal care and support provided by health care aides (HCAs). CCH Type A may also have a secure space. Some sites may have specialized programs and services available for residents with complex clinical or complex functional care requirements (e.g., rehabilitation).

More information on Continuing Care Home Type A.

Continuing Care Home Type B (formerly Designated Supportive Living): This environment provides a purposeful home-like design with 24-hour a day onsite scheduled and unscheduled professional and personal care provided by LPNs and HCAs. Case management and specialty services (e.g., Allied Health, palliative resource nurse, etc.) are available on a scheduled onsite, on-call or virtual basis based on resident’s care needs. The buildings are specifically designed with common areas and features, including private space and a safe, secure and barrier-free environment. Type B facilities promote independence and provides services such as meals, housekeeping, recreational activities and 24-hour monitoring. 

More information on Continuing Care Home Type B.

Continuing Care Home Type B – secure space (formerly Designated Supportive Living Dementia): This environment provides a purposeful home-like design with small groupings of private bedrooms and associated spaces with security features (i.e., secured spaces).

More information on Continuing Care Home Type B - Secure Space.

Continuing Care Home Type C (Hospice): Hospice care is a specialized service that provides 24/7 care to individuals who are approaching end-of-life and their families. Services are available for both adult and pediatric populations and may include respite. The care teams focus on your comfort and quality of life and can support you and your family throughout the last months, weeks, or days of life. Services are provided by a specialized interprofessional palliative care team that includes (but is not limited to): doctors, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, and healthcare aides. Availability of other professionals such as spiritual counsellors and other services such as volunteers may be different for each hospice.

More information on Continuing Care Home Type C (Hospice).

Facility-Based Care: Facility-based care means the group of goods and services that is provided on an ongoing basis to residents of a continuing care home and that is made up of the following: prescribed accommodation goods and services, prescribed health goods and services, and prescribed other goods and services.

Goal of Care Designations: A medical order used to describe and communicate the general aim or focus of care including the preferred location of that care.
Hospital: Hospital means a facility where a variety of healthcare services are provided.

Home and Community Care: Home and community care means the prescribed health goods and services and prescribed other goods and services that are provided by a home and community care provider to an eligible individual in the individual’s home or community (e.g., seniors lodge, supportive living accommodation) but does not include facility-based care or supportive living services.

More information on Home Care.

Palliative & End-of-Life Care: Palliative and End-of-Life Care is both a philosophy and an approach to care that enables all individuals with a life-limiting and/or life-threatening illness to receive integrated and coordinated care across the continuum. This care incorporates patient and family values, preferences and goals of care, and spans the disease process from early diagnosis to end of life, including bereavement. 

Palliative Care: Palliative care means care provided to improve the quality of life and to prevent and relieve the suffering of a resident of a continuing care home or an individual to whom home and community care is provided who has an illness that can be reasonably expected to cause the death of the resident of individual within the foreseeable future.

End-of-life: End-of-life care means care provided during the period of time when a resident of a continuing care home or an individual to whom home and community care is provide is approaching death.

More information on Palliative and End-of-Life Care Website, Framework and Addendum.

Person & Family Centred Care: Care planning, coordination and delivery of services are centred around the person and their unique needs and preferences. The person participates in decisions regarding their care and their decisions/choices are respected as much as possible.

More information on Patient & Family Centred Care in Action.

Post-acute Care: Post-acute care is an encompassing specialty, which refers to departments that are not typically a standard acute care, rehabilitation, addictions and mental health or designated continuing care home. This would refer to beds and units previously called post-acute, community support beds, sub-acute, restorative care, transition or alternate level of care units.

Primary Provider: A physician (doctor) or nurse practitioner who oversees care as part of the healthcare team.

Restorative Care: Restorative care focuses on maximizing an optimal level of functioning, enabling clients to regain/retain their independence following the debilitating effects of illness or injury. Restorative care can be provided in the home, in a continuing care home or acute care hospital.

More information on Rehabilitative or Restorative Care.

Self-Managed Care (SMC): Self-Managed Care is a client directed service delivery option available to eligible Alberta Health Services home care clients for assessed unmet personal care and supportive needs. This model involves clients or an agent having active management of financial resources provided directly to them by AHS.  An AHS case manager will work collaboratively to assist in meeting a person’s self-care goals.

Standards: There are standards that ensure all operators of licensed facilities maintain quality accommodation and health services. The standards promote the safety, security and comfort for Albertans living in facilities. There are both standards for health services and standards for accommodation. Facilities are monitored for compliance at least once a year. 

More information on Continuing Care Accommodation and Health Service Standards.

Supportive Living Accommodation: Supportive living accommodation means buildings or units in buildings that are intended for permanent or long-term residential living; where supportive living services are provided to assist residents to live as independently as possible. Does not include a continuing care home or a private dwelling where an individual provides care or services only to the individual’s family members or friends.