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: A way to help you think about, talk about and document wishes for health care in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care.

Alternate Level of Care (ALC): Alternate Level of Care identifies a person who has completed the acute care phase of his or her treatment but remains in an acute or sub-acute care bed while awaiting transfer to an appropriate accommodation, depending on what kind of care they 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 care needs and assist with service options. They may also be called a transitions coordinator.

Continuing Care: A range of services that support the health and well-being of individuals living in their own home, a supportive living or long-term care setting. 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.

Designated Supportive Living: A home-like setting where people can maintain control over their lives while also receiving the support they need. The buildings are specifically designed with common areas and features, including private space and a safe, secure and barrier-free environment. Designated supportive living promotes residents’ independence and provides services such as meals, housekeeping, activities and 24-hour monitoring. Publicly funded personal care and health services are provided to designated supportive living residents based on assessed unmet needs. Clients admitted into designated supportive living are required to pay accommodation fees (room and board and other costs associated) as set by government.

Designated Supportive living (levels 3 or 4) includes comprehensive services such as the availability of 24-hour nursing care. Designated Supportive Living 4-Dementia also provides secure and safe living for those individuals living with moderate to severe dementia or cognitive impairment. Albertans accessing designated supportive living services generally reside in lodges, retirement communities or designated supportive living centers.

More information on Designated Supportive Living.

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.

Home Care: Home Care is publicly funded personal and healthcare services for clients of all ages living in a private residence or other residential setting, such as suites in a retirement residence. Home Care helps people remain well, safe and independent in their home for as long as possible. Home Care philosophy promotes client independence, and supplements care and supports provided by families and community services.

More information on Home Care

Long Term Care: Long term care refers to a continuum of medical and social services designed to support the needs of people living with chronic health problems that require the oversight of a registered nurse 24-hours a day. Long term care services include traditional medical services, social services, and housing. Clients admitted into long-term care are required to pay accommodation fees (room and board and other costs associated) as set by government. Long term care may be referred to as auxiliary hospitals and nursing homes.

More information on Long Term Care

Long Term Care Facility Medical Director: A physician working with the facility to provide oversight of medical services.

Palliative and 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 co-ordinated 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. For more information visit the Palliative and End-of-Life Care website.

Person and 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. For more information visit the Patient and Family Centered Care Resource Kit.

Primary Provider: A physician, or doctor, 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 supportive living, in long-term care facilities or acute care hospitals.

More information on Rehabilitative or Restorative Care.

Self-Managed Care: Self-Managed Care is an alternate funding model available to eligible Alberta Health Services home care clients for assessed unmet personal care and supportive needs. A case manager will work collaboratively to assist in meeting a person’s self-care goals.

Standards: There are standards that ensure all operators of funded residential 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. For more information visit Policies & Procedures.