The Language of Eldercare

It’s been quite some time since I’ve officially blogged. Life!

To get back on my feet (or back at my writing desk), I’ll use this blog to define a few words I’ve learned the last few years caring for my elderly mother.

Most of the definitions below are from and are narrowed to the eldercare issues that have consumed my life these past four years.

Dementia: noun. A usually progressive condition marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits (such as memory impairment, aphasia, and the inability to plan and initiate complex behavior).

Transient Ischemic Attack (a.k.a. ministroke): noun. A brief episode of cerebral ischemia (obstructed blood flow) that is usually characterized by temporary blurring of vision, slurring of speech, numbness, paralysis, or syncope (loss of consciousness) and is often predictive of a serious stroke. Abbreviated as TIA.

Hallucination: noun. A sensory perception (such as visual image or a sound) that occurs in the absence of an actual external stimulus and usually arises from neurological disturbance or in response to drugs.

Cognitive: adjective. Of, relating to, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering).

Mom having fun at the casino in healthier times just a few years ago.

Respite: adjective. Providing or being temporary care in relief of a primary caregiver.

Atrophy: noun. Decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue. Also, a wasting away or progressive decline.

Palliative: adjectiveSomething that palliates. From the verb, palliate: To reduce the violence of (a disease). Also, to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease.

Hospice: noun. A program designed to provide palliative care and emotional support to the terminally ill in a home or homelike setting so that quality of life is maintained and family members may be active participants in care. Also, a facility that provides such a program.

PACE: proper noun. PACE stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE is a national program working with nursing home-eligible individuals to provide day programs, general support, and medical care to keep them in their homes longer. It’s a Medicare/Medicaid benefit.

PACE of the Ozarks, the northwest Arkansas organization, has been a blessing for me and my mother!

Thanks for reading! I expect to soon return to my usual book review blog.

For more information about author Lori Ericson publications, including her Danni Deadline Thrillers, visit her on Amazon at

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