Glossary of Definitions – Information

Senior Heath Care Terms
Medical Terms


The following words are those you might hear when talking to people in the Health Care or Elder Care professions. These might help you to understand what is being said.

Assessment Terms: Many people hear the terms IC 1, IC2 and IC3. These usually come from an assessment, and are very general. Here is a quick guide:

  • IC 1 Usually will be a good candidate for Independent or Assisted Living.
  • IC 2 Probably will require some assistance – good candidate for Assisted Living.
  • IC 3 Probably will require nursing in Residential Care.
  • EC (Extended Care) Will require nursing in Residential Care.

Assisted Living : This refers to a style of living. Assisted refers to the type of physical assistance rather than monetary assistance. In Assisted Living facilities, residents live independently in apartment style accommodation, and come and go as they please. We assist them by providing some meals, housekeeping, safety, security and some social programs. Additional planned care, such as bathing, dressing and assistance with medication is available upon request.

Director of Care : The Director of Care is usually the person in charge of Nursing Care at a facility. This person is sometimes called the Clinical Services Manager

Funded : This term usually refers to beds/rooms/suites that are subsidized financially by the government. May be termed subsidized.

Independent Living : Residents in Independent Living are just that – totally independent. Independent living residences provide meals and services as required. Some people confuse Independent Living and Assisted Living and justifiably so – they are very similar. Assisted Living residences provide two or more meals, and offer Planned Care.

Multi Level Care : This refers to many types of care. These can be intermediate, extended, dementia, Alzheimer, palliative, recovery and respite. This is often referred to as Residential Care.

Residential Care : This is a new term being used in the Elder Care industry and refers to both Multi Level Care and/or Professional Nursing Care (24 hour care).

Subsidized : Subsidized and funded are interchangeable terms. This term usually refers to beds/rooms/suites that are partially paid for by the government.


COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis – diseases characterized by obstruction to airflow. More information can be found at


In any industry, acronyms or abbreviations are used instead of the real names or words. This can be very frustrating to people who are not familiar with them. Here are a few that you will hear in the Elder Care/Nursing world.

RN : Registered Nurse LPN : Licensed Practical Nurse
RCA : Resident Care Aid AL : Assisted Living
ML : Multi Level Care (Residential Care) DVA : Department of Veterans’ Affairs
VIHA : Vancouver Island Health Authority RHA : Regional Health Authority
IHA: Interior Health Authority