Skip to Page Content  |  Text Only Governor | General Assembly | Courts | Elected Officials | State Agencies
  Photo: Featured Delaware Photo
  Phone Numbers   Mobile   Help   Size   Print   Email

Glossary of Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



Formally known as the American Association of Retired Persons, AARP is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over in the United States. The group is known for providing a host of services to this ever-growing segment of the population by:

  • Informing members and the public on issues important to this age group
  • Advocating on legislative, consumer and legal issues
  • Promoting community service
  • Offering a wide range of special products and services to members

Membership in AARP is open to any person age 50 or above.

(Source: )

Acquired Brain Injury

(ABI) Injury to the brain which is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative that has occurred after birth. (Includes anoxia, aneurysms, infections to the brain and stroke.


Activities of Daily Living

(See also Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

(ADL) Activities of Daily Living include such things as eating, getting in and out of bed, getting around inside, dressing, bathing and using the toilet. Often assessments are used to determine an individual’s ability to perform such tasks without assistance.

Administration on Aging

(AoA) AoA is the Federal focal point and advocate agency for older persons and their concerns. In this role, AoA works to heighten awareness among other Federal agencies, organizations, groups, and the public about the valuable contributions that older Americans make to the Nation and alerts them to the needs of vulnerable older people. AoA does this by serving as the Federal agency responsible for advancing the concerns and interests of older people and their caregivers, and by working with and through the Aging Services Network to promote the development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of home and community-based long-term care that is responsive to the needs and preferences of older people and their family caregivers.


Adult Abuse

Adult abuse is the mistreatment or neglect of a vulnerable person 18 years or older usually by a relative or caregiver. It is the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or cruel punishment with result of physical harm or pain or mental anguish; or the willful deprivation of essential needs.

Adult Day Services

Adult Day Services provides activities and assistance for people with physical and/or mental impairments. This service is for people who do not need 24-hour care in a nursing home, but who cannot be left alone for long periods of time.

Adult Foster Care

Adult Foster Care is a housing option for individuals who need some supervision and can no longer remain in their own homes. Foster Care takes place in supportive, family settings.

Adult Protective Services

(APS) The Adult Protective Service (APS) Program responds to cases of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of impaired adults. Specifically, the program serves persons who are aged 18 or over, who have a physical or mental impairment, and who are not living in a long term care facility (for example, a nursing home).

Advanced Directives

An advance directive is established by completing an Advance Health Care Directive Form. An advance directive enables you to: give specific instructions about health care decisions if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious; name another individual as an agent to make health care decisions for you if you can no longer make your own decisions; and if you wish, to designate anatomical gifts to take effect upon your death.


A written statement of fact about something that is relevant to a request made to the court or to another document filed with the court. The person making the statement of fact must sign the affidavit and have it witnessed and notarized by a notary public or the Family Court’s Clerk of the Court.

Aging in Place

The ability to continue to live in one's home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It means living in a familiar environment, and being able to participate in family and other community activities.


Alzheimer’s Day Treatment

Alzheimer’s Day Treatment is a program for people with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementia. It is a non-residential, day program. Medical, recreational and personal care services are provided. Staff in the program receive specialized training in Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia so that they are able to help people with these mental impairments.

Alzheimer’s Disease

(AD)   Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized in the brain by abnormal clumps (amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles) composed of misplaced proteins. Age is the most important risk factor for AD; the number of people with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65. Symptoms of AD include memory loss, language deterioration, impaired ability to mentally manipulate visual information, poor judgment, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings. Eventually AD destroys cognition, personality, and the ability to function. The early symptoms of AD, which include forgetfulness and loss of concentration, are often missed because they resemble natural signs of aging.


Alzheimer’s Respite

The Alzheimer’s Respite program provides in-home care for people with Alzheimer’s Disease when the primary caregiver is not there. The service offers brief periods of relief to caregivers and provides them with time away from caregiving responsibilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act

(ADA) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law which was enacted in 1990. The law prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in areas such as employment, education, transportation, and communication.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

(ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) A rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles.  In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, ceasing to send messages to muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away, and twitch. Eventually the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost.  Individuals with ALS lose their strength and the ability to move their arms, legs, and body. When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, individuals lose the ability to breathe without ventilator support.  The disease does not affect a person's ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognize touch, and it does not usually impair a person’s thinking or other cognitive abilities.  However, several recent studies suggest that a small percentage of patients may experience problems with memory or decision-making, and there is growing evidence that some may even develop a form of dementia.  The cause of ALS is not known, and scientists do not yet know why ALS strikes some people and not others.


Area Agencies on Aging

(AAA) Program funding from the Older American’s Act is allocated to each State Agency on Aging, based on the number of older persons in the State, to plan, develop, and coordinate systems of supportive in-home and community-based services. Most States are divided into Planning and Service Areas (PSAs) so that programs can be effectively developed and targeted to meet the unique needs of the elderly residing in that area. These are called Area Agencies on Aging and their purpose is to plan, develop, coordinate and arrange for services in each PSA. In rural areas, an AAA may serve the needs of elderly people living in a number of counties, while other AAA's may serve the elderly living in a single city. The State of Delaware is considered one planning and service area, therefore, Delaware’s Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities functions as a State Unit on Aging and an Area Agency on Aging.


Assisted Living Facility

(ALF) An Assisted Living Facility is a housing option that provides support to residents. Support for residents of assisted living includes personal services and light medical or nursing care. Assisted living allows a resident more independence than nursing home care.

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices are pieces of equipment that allow people with disabilities to function more independently. They can be simple or complex. Some examples of assistive devices include kitchen utensils with large grips, seats for the shower or bath, wheelchairs, and specialized computers.

Association for the Rights of Citizens with Mental Retardation/Delaware

(ARC/DE) The mission of ARC is to improve and enhance the quality of life for individuals with mental retardation and their families. Primary services include: advocacy, education, employment, housing/ residential assistance, and information/networking.

Attendant Services

The goal of attendant services is to support persons with disabilities who need ongoing assistance. The program helps to maintain independence by allowing persons to work, complete their education, and/or to avoid living in a highly supervised setting. The client (or his/her surrogate) has control over the use of services. The services are provided based on the client’s lifestyle, preferences, and abilities.

Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

(ADD) (ADHD) A group of symptoms believed to be caused by slight abnormalities in the brain. These symptoms include an inappropriate lack of ability to pay attention, such as difficulty with listening to and following directions. Other signs of ADD may be acting on impulse without thought of consequences, being distracted, and often being clumsy. A child or adult with ADD is not necessarily overly active. However, these symptoms can occur with hyperactivity.

Back to top of page




Brain Injury

See Acquired Brain Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury



Back to top of page





Caregivers are family members, friends, and adults who assume the responsibility for the care of older persons, or they are older relatives such as grandparents caring for children.

Caregiver Resource Centers

The DHSS’ Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities has formed partnerships with the Division of Libraries, public libraries and senior centers throughout the State of Delaware to serve as Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC). The CRC will operate as a lending library for training videos, books, pamphlets and other informational resource materials on caregiving.

Case Management

Case management helps older persons, persons with disabilities, and caregivers get connected with the services that they need. Case managers help in three ways: 1) assessing (or evaluating) a person's situation and needs; 2) working with individuals and their families to develop "care plans" to map out what kind of services an individual needs, how often they are needed, etc.; and 3) providing ongoing coordination to see that an individual's care needs are being met.

Center for Independent Living

(CIL) Independent Living Centers are typically non-residential, private, non-profit, consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. Their goal is to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential within their families and communities.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

(CMS) A federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMS runs the Medicare and Medicaid programs - two national health care programs that benefit about 75 million Americans.


Cerebral Palsy

(CP) A disorder caused by damage to the brain, especially affecting ability to control movement and posture. Palsy is a synonym for paralysis, although a more accurate description of the usual muscular symptoms might be weakness (paresis), and inability to make voluntary movements and suppress involuntary ones.

(Source: National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke for the Public Health Service)

Cognitive Services

Cognitive Services assist in the diagnosis and treatment of certain problems such as those that can result from brain injury. Such problems may include difficulties with cognition (thinking) and behavior. Cognitive services include: 1)  an assessment to find out a person's needs;  and 2) behavioral therapy.  Behavioral therapy can take many forms, but usually involves counseling or therapy for an individual with brain injury and his/her family. Typically, cognitive services take place in a professional office setting.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

(COPD)  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking.


A coma, sometimes also called persistent vegetative state, is a profound or deep state of unconsciousness. Persistent vegetative state is not brain-death. An individual in a state of coma is alive but unable to move or respond to his or her environment. Coma may occur as a complication of an underlying illness, or as a result of injuries, such as head trauma.  Individuals in such a state have lost their thinking abilities and awareness of their surroundings, but retain non-cognitive function and normal sleep patterns. Even though those in a persistent vegetative state lose their higher brain functions, other key functions such as breathing and circulation remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur, and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli. Individuals may even occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh. Although individuals in a persistent vegetative state may appear somewhat normal, they do not speak and they are unable to respond to commands.


Community Living Respite

The Community Living Respite Program gives relief during the day to caregivers, such as family members, who provide ongoing care to adults with physical disabilities. Through the program, persons with disabilities participate in various community-based activities. The program gives participants the opportunity for personal, social, and/or educational enrichment outside the home.

Congregate Meals

Congregate meals are provided daily in group settings such as senior centers. Participants in the congregate meal program have the opportunity to socialize while enjoying nutritionally balanced meals. As part of the program, nutrition counseling and nutrition education are also made available.

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services

(CD-PAS) CD-PAS provides in home attendant services and nursing care to people with disabilities which allows them to live independently in their own homes and choose the type of care they need.

Coronary Artery Disease

(CAD)  Coronary artery disease is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.  Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow.


Council for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Equality

(CDHHE) CDHHE advocates for and empowers individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to: increase knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people, to work for a better quality of life deaf and hard of hearing people by improving the quality, accessibility and capacity of their services; to promote coordination between State agencies, programs, and services; to monitor and advise the DE Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing with respect to the services it provides; to inform and advocate with service providers for improved services for deaf and hard of hearing people.



Back to top of page




Day Habilitation

Day habilitation is a service to assist persons, including those with acquired brain injury (ABI), develop or maintain socialization and self-help skills. The service helps participants with appropriate behavior and allows them to achieve greater independence. Training in day habilitation programs may include such topics as money management, nutrition, household management, social skills, and using community resources. The service takes place in a group setting, such as a day habilitation facility or adult day care facility. It is a non-residential program. Transportation is provided to and from a participant's place of residence.
Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

The Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI) connects Delawareans who have disabilities with the tools they need in order to learn, work, play, and participate in community life safely and independently. DATI operates Assistive Technology Resource Centers (ATRCs) that offer training as well as no-cost equipment demonstrations and loans.  DATI also provides funding information, develops partnerships with state agencies and organizations and publishes resource materials and even calendars.  A used equipment recycling program is also coordinated by DATI.


Delaware Authority for Regional Transportation (DART or DART First State)

DART First State provides transportation services statewide with over 320 buses and over 60 bus routes including its Sussex County Resort Service. It also serves New Castle County with commuter rail service to and from Philadelphia.

DART First State also provides paratransit services for disabled persons unable to use our over 60 public fixed bus routes. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are three categories under which a person can be eligible for paratransit services: 1) The person is unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment, to independently, get on or get off a bus on the fixed route; or 2)The person needs the assistance of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance and is able to get on, ride, and get off a bus, but such fixed route bus is not available on the route when the individual wants to travel; or 3) The person has a specific impairment-related condition that prevents travel to or from a bus stop in the system.


Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) This program assists low-income households that need help in meeting the cost of home energy used for heating and cooling their homes. Federal eligibility standards apply. Both homeowners and renters may receive assistance. Households with elderly and/or handicapped persons may be eligible to submit applications by mail.

 (Source: )
Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) A department in the State of Delaware whose mission is to improve the quality of life for Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.
Delaware Kinship Navigator Program The purpose of the Delaware Kinship Navigator Program is to assist persons, such as grandparents, who are raising other relatives' children by providing them with information regarding services they (or the children they are caring for) may be eligible for as well as supporting them in accessing those services.
Delaware Money Management Program The Delaware Money Management Program offers money management assistance to help low-income seniors and adults with physical disabilities who have difficulty budgeting, paying routine bills and keeping track of financial matters. The program’s goal is to promote and prolong independent living for individuals who are at risk of losing their independence due to inability to manage their financial affairs. The program uses volunteers to assist individuals who do not have friends or relatives able or willing to help.
Delaware Senior Medicare Patrol Program The Delaware Senior Medicare Patrol Program provides public information to encourage people who have Medicare to carefully read their Medicare summary notices and ask questions if they do not think the information is correct. This program also trains people who are retired to help other Medicare beneficiaries get the information they need when they suspect fraud, waste, or abuse of the Medicare program.
Department of Education (DOE) Strives to promote the highest quality education for every Delaware student by providing visionary leadership and superior services. DOE is comprised of three distinct branches: Curriculum and Instructional Improvement; Assessment and Accountability; and Finance and Administrative Services. Each branch, led by an Associate Secretary, works in a collective effort to carry out the goals of the department.
Department of Health and Human Services (Federal)

(DHHS) The United States Government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The Department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities. Some highlights include: Medicare (health insurance for elderly and disabled Americans) and Medicaid (health insurance for low-income people); financial assistance and services for low-income families; improving maternal and infant health; and services for older Americans, including home-delivered meals.


Department of Labor (DOL) The DOL within the State of Delaware strives to connect people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy.
Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families (DSCYF) The DSCYF within the State of Delaware helps to strengthen families and communities so that children can be raised in a nurturing environment, and provides direct services for those families with more complex needs.
Developmental Disabilities Council

(DDC) The Delaware DDC addresses the unmet needs of people with developmental disabilities through system-wide advocacy, planning and demonstration projects.


Developmental Disability (DD) A severe, chronic disability of an individual five years of age or older that: is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments; is manifested before the individual attains age 22; is likely to continue indefinitely; and results in substantial functional limitations in three or more areas of major life activity. These disabilities cannot be corrected by surgery and usually result in social and intellectual delays. These conditions usually persist throughout an individual’s lifetime.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes means that blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. There are two main types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes - the body does not make insulin. Insulin helps the body use glucose from food for energy. People with type 1 need to take insulin every day.
Type 2 diabetes - the body does not make or use insulin well. People with type 2 often need to take pills or insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.
Gestational (jes-TAY-shon-al) diabetes - may occur when a woman is pregnant. Gestational diabetes raises her risk of getting another type of diabetes, mostly type 2, for the rest of her life. It also raises her child’s risk of being overweight and getting diabetes.


Division for the Visually Impaired (DVI) A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DVI provides a network of services designed to facilitate the lifelong social, emotional, and economic independence of Delawareans who are blind or visually impaired.
Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS)   A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DDDS provides services and supports to individuals with mental retardation/developmental disabilities and their families. It is the mission of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services to help the people it serves achieve the quality of life they desire by providing a flexible system of individually directed supports and services that improves the quality of life of the individual and their family.
Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection

(DLTCRP)  A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DLTCRP’s mission is to protect residents in Delaware long term care facilities through:

  • Promotion of quality of care, quality of life, safety and security, and
  • Enforcement of compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations.

The Division is responsible for:  the Adult Abuse Registry, Criminal Background Checks and Mandatory Drug Testing, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Registry, complaint and incident reporting related to long term care facilities, licensing/certifying long term care facilities, and developing regulations related to these areas.

Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance

(DMMA) The mission of the Division of Medicaid & Medical Assistance is to improve health outcomes by ensuring that the highest quality medical services are provided to the vulnerable populations of Delaware in the most cost effective manner.
Division of Public Health (DPH) A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DPH protects and enhances the health of the people by: working together with others; addressing issues that affect the health of Delawareans; keeping track of the State's health; promoting positive lifestyles; responding to critical health issues and disasters; and promoting the availability of health services.
Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DSAAPD strives to improve or maintain the quality of life for residents of Delaware who are at least 18 years of age with physical disabilities, or who are elderly. The Division is committed to the development and delivery of consumer driven services. These services will maximize independence through individual choice in the least restrictive environment possible, enabling adults with physical disabilities and those who are elderly to continue living active and productive lives, and protect those who may be vulnerable and at risk.
Division of Social Services (DSS ) A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DSS is directly responsible for administering these programs: Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, Subsidized Child Care, General Assistance and Refugee Cash Assistance.
Division of State Service Centers (DSSC)  The mission of the Division of State Service Centers is to provide convenient access to human services, assist vulnerable populations, support communities, and promote volunteer and service opportunities.
Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) A division of Delaware Health and Social Services, DSAMH serves the adult (age 18 and older) population in need of publicly funded behavioral health services. DSAMH is organized into three operating units.  These are the Delaware Psychiatric Center (DPC), two Community Mental Health Centers with six sites, and a variety of community-based Substance Abuse Treatment Programs. Its mission is to promote health and recovery by ensuring that Delawareans have access to quality prevention and treatment for mental health, substance use, and gambling conditions.
Division for the Visually Impaired (DVI) A division of Delaware Health and Social services, DVI strives to work in partnership with Delawareans who are blind and visually impaired empowering them to be self-sufficient.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) A division of the Department of Labor, DVR is Delaware’s public program that helps people with physical and mental disabilities obtain or retain employment. DVR also has an Independent Living Program that helps people with disabilities function in the community. DVR's commitment is to help people with disabilities increase independence through employment.

Durable Power of Attorney

A legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone else to make financial decisions in the event the individual becomes unable to make and/or communicate such decisions personally.

In Delaware, there is a distinction between a Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Durable Power of Attorney. A power of attorney for health care relates to health care decisions, while a durable power or attorney relates to financial matters.



Back to top of page



Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Training (EPSDT) A special program under Medicaid that provides reimbursement for well-child visits and special services determined to be needed during a check-up.
Earned Income Tax Credit

(EITC) The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable Federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The credit reduces the amount of Federal tax owed and can result in a refund check. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit. Income and family size determine the amount of the EITC. The EITC does not generally affect eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, or low-income housing.


Emergency Response System (ERS)  See Personal Emergency Response System.



Back to top of page



Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12 month period, job protection, and continued health-care coverage to workers under certain conditions, such as, one year of employment. FMLA applies to caring for newborn or adopted children within 12 months of birth or adoption, coping with serious illness of family members, or inability to perform one’ job because of serious health problems.
Food Stamp Program See Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)



Back to top of page



Governor’s Advisory Council on Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities The Council on Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities serves as an advisory body to the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. Members of the Council are appointed by the Governor in accordance with the Delaware Code (Title 29 Chapter 79 § 7915).
Guardianship The office, duty, or authority of a guardian. A guardian is a person who lawfully has the power and duty of taking care of another person and managing the property and rights of another person, who because of age, understanding or self-control, is considered incapable of administering his or her own affairs. Also, one who legally has the care and management of the person or the estate or both of a minor child.

(Source: Black’s Law Dictionary)



Back to top of page



Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) A type of managed care plan where a group of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers agree to give health care to beneficiaries for a set amount of money every month. In an HMO, you usually must get all your care from the providers that are part of the plan.

Paralysis of one side of the body. 


Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) A wide array of services that an individual may need to avoid institutionalization. This includes such things as, case management, homemaker services, home health aides, personal care services, adult day health care, respite care and other services.
Home-Delivered Meals The Home-Delivered Meals Program delivers nutritionally balanced, hot meals during the day to homebound persons. Some people also receive cold, bagged meals so that they will have food available in the evening as well.
Home Health Agency A public or private agency that specializes in providing skilled nursing, homemakers, home health aides, and therapeutic services such as physical therapy, in an individual’s home.
Home Modification The Home Modification Program pays for modifications (or changes) to be made to the home of a person with a physical disability. The changes are made to allow a person to move around more freely in the home. An example of a home modification is the installation of a wheelchair ramp. Modifications are made to permanent residences only. Also, funds are used only when no other funding source is available or when there is not enough money from another source to pay for the needed modifications.
Hospice A philosophy of care that accepts death as a natural part of life by caring for terminally ill patients in a humane manner. The majority of hospice patients are cared for in their own home or the home of loved one. Hospice care attempts to minimize pain and symptoms. Hospice also provides bereavement care to the family members and loved ones of the terminally ill person.
Housing and Urban Development

(HUD) HUD's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management and accountability and forge new partnerships--particularly with faith-based and community organizations--that leverage resources and improve HUD's ability to be effective on the community level.




Back to top of page



Independent Living A mode of life pursued by a person capable of providing for their own care; if disabled, the person is able to live outside an institution with assistance in obtaining essential services.
Individualized Education Program

IEP) An Individualized Education Program describes the educational program that has been designed to meet a child's unique needs.  Each child who receives special education and related services must have an IEP.  Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document.  The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when age appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legally binding document.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Federal) (IDEA) The law that guarantees all children with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education.
Information and Assistance/ Information and Referral (I&A, I&R) Information and Assistance/Referral provides information to persons who contact the agency. They can be directed to appropriate programs, services, activities, events, and other community resources related to aging and disabilities in Delaware. This service is available not only to older persons and adults with physical disabilities, but also to family members, caregivers, service professionals, students, and any other interested persons.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

(IADL)  Activities related to independent living, such as preparing meals, managing money, shopping for groceries or personal items, performing light or heavy housework, and using a telephone.


Intergenerational Programs The goal of the intergenerational programs is to bring elderly and the youth together in planned activities which benefit both generations.
Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) A nursing home which is licensed to provide nursing services and care to individuals who require institutional living and care but do not need the degree of care and treatment a hospital or skilled nursing facility is designed to provide.



Back to top of page



Joining Generations Joining Generations is a statewide intergenerational program operated by the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. *Please see Intergenerational Programs.



Back to top of page



Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Each public agency shall ensure : 1) That to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are non-disabled; and 2) That special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactory.

(Source: IDEA regulations)
Legal Services The Legal Services Program assists older persons with legal issues. Specifically, the program provides help with matters such as powers of attorney; living wills; and consumer, housing and medical issues.
Level of Care (LOC) Classification based on the kind and extent of services provided by a nursing home. Facilities are licensed and certified to provide a certain level of care in a certain number of beds.
Living Wills See Advanced Directives.
Long Term Care (LTC) The medical and social care given to individuals who have severe chronic impairments and/or disabilities. Long-term care can consist of care in the home, by family members assisting, through voluntary or employed help or care in an institution.
Long Term Care Ombudsman The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates and resolves complaints made by (or on behalf of) residents of long term care facilities (for example, nursing homes). The program also provides volunteer opportunities for friendly visitors/advocates in nursing homes.
Lou Gehrig’s Disease See Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.



Back to top of page



Managed Care Organization (MCO) In an effort to control costs and to make them more affordable, managed care plans are more structured and restrictive than fee-for-service plans (A fee-for service plan allows the insured individual to go to a doctor of their choosing and then submit health insurance claims.). Generally, you must be served by a provider within the network that the Managed Care Organization designates. If you use a provider outside the network, you may be liable for any bills that are incurred. The most prevalent MCOs are: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), and Point of Service Plans.
Meals on Wheels See Home-Delivered Meals
Medicaid Medicaid provides health insurance for eligible low income people who are elderly, blind, or disabled as well as for certain groups of children. Services are coordinated by state government through Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance.
Medical Transportation Medical Transportation provides transportation to health care appointments for persons in need.  In Delaware, this service is provided through DSAAPD for persons 60 years old and older who live in New Castle County but outside the city limits of Wilmington.
Medicare Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those who receive Social Security benefits. Eligible individuals include those who are 65 and older, people of any age with permanent kidney failure and disabled people under age 65 who have received Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months.
Medicare Fraud The intentional misleading of Medicare beneficiaries and the Medicare program for financial gain. Beneficiaries should review all Medicare payment notices for errors. The payment notices show what Medicare was billed for, what Medicare paid and what you owe. Make sure Medicare was not billed for health care services or medical supplies and equipment you did not receive.
Medigap Insurance

A supplement insurance policy sold by private insurance companies to fill "gaps" in Original Medicare Plan coverage. There are 12 standardized policies labeled Plan A through Plan N. Medigap policies only work with the Original Medicare Plan.


Multiple Sclerosis

(MS) A chronic disease of the white matter of the central nervous system (CNS). In MS, there are patches of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that cause damage to the myelin. This makes it more difficult for information signals to travel along nerve fibers with the required speed, eventually causing the symptoms seen in MS.




Back to top of page


Nursing Home Transition Program The Nursing Home Transition Program is a state-funded program led by Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD). The overall goal of the program is to identify, inform and assist nursing home residents, especially those who are Medicaid-eligible, who want to move to a community-based setting. The program offers individualized case management to accomplish this goal.



Back to top of page





Occupational Therapy

(OT) Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition. Occupational therapists use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients. The therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.


Office of Special Education Programs, U. S. Department of Education

(OSEP) OSEP is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. Some things include: providing discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.


Older Americans Act (OAA) The Older Americans Act of 1965 as Amended calls for a range of programs that offer services and opportunities for older Americans, especially those at risk of losing their independence. The Act established the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Aging in the Department.
Olmstead Decision

The Olmstead v. L.C. Supreme Court decision issued in July 1999 requires states to administer services, programs, and activities "in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities." The Olmstead decision interpreted Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which gives civil rights and protections to individuals with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

Ombudsman See Long Term Care Ombudsman.



Back to top of page




Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of your body. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.
Most paralysis is due to strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injury or a broken neck.


Parent Information Center of Delaware

(PIC)  The mission of PIC is to improve outcomes for children with disabilities or special needs and their families by providing information, education and support.


Personal Care Personal care services are provided for persons who need help at home or outside the home because of illness or disability. The services are designed to help a person maintain his or her household and continue living independently. Specific activities may include assistance with personal hygiene (for example, bathing or shaving), meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, and other services.
Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) A Personal Emergency Response System is a device that allows a person at high risk (for example an older person who lives alone and has a health problem) to get immediate help in the event of an emergency. The person who is using the system wears a button that he or she can push if needed. The button connects electronically to the person's phone, which is programmed to send a signal to a response center or other contact persons who then carry out a series of actions to help the person in need.
Physical Therapy

(PT)  Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health. Their patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy.


Point of Service Plan

This is a type of managed care health insurance plan that combines features of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). They allow members to use services provided outside of the network without prior approval from a network doctor. Point of service plans offer lower deductibles and no coinsurance for visits to doctors inside the network. Visits outside the network normally require the payment of deductibles and coinsurance the same as a traditional fee-for-service insurance policy.


Power of Attorney A written legal agreement authorizing a person to make decisions, sign documents and conduct transactions on another person's behalf. In Delaware, there is a distinction between a Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Durable Power of Attorney. A power of attorney for health care relates to health care decisions, while a durable power or attorney relates to financial matters.
Preferred Provider Organization

(PPO) A type of managed care health insurance plan that is a group of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers (preferred providers) who have agreed to provide services to members of a health plan for discounted fees. Some employers combine the PPO with a traditional major medical plan so you can use providers who are not on the PPOs preferred list. But to encourage you to use a provider who is on the PPO list, you will usually have lower out-of-pocket expenses than if you use a provider who is not on the list.


Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly

(PACE) PACE is an optional benefit under both Medicare and Medicaid that focuses entirely on older people, who are frail enough to meet their State's standards for nursing home care. It features comprehensive medical and social services that can be provided at an adult day health center, home, and/or inpatient facilities. For most patients, the comprehensive service package permits them to continue living at home while receiving services, rather than be institutionalized. A team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals assess participant needs, develop care plans, and deliver all services which are integrated into a complete health care plan. PACE is available only in States which have chosen to offer PACE under Medicaid.




Back to top of page




See paralysis.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) A Medicare beneficiary who, because of low income and limited financial resources, qualifies to have certain medical expenses covered at no additional cost.



Back to top of page



Rancho Los Amigos This ten level scale was developed by the professional staff of the Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey, California to describe the stages of recovery after brain injury. Rehabilitation centers may use this scale when working with someone with a brain injury.
Request for Proposal (RFP) Request for Proposals is a system used to obtain bids (proposals) by invitation made by a prospective organization to a prospective bidder. The prospective organization is inviting specific written plans from vendors, suppliers, contractors, non-profit organizations etc. before awarding business or grant funds.
Respite Care Respite care is a program that provides relief to primary caregivers, such as family members, who give 24-hour-a-day care to someone in need. Respite care can be regularly scheduled (for example, once a week) or can be given from time-to-time, as needed by the family.
Rest (Residential) Home An institution that provides resident beds and personal care services for persons who are normally able to manage activities of daily living.



Back to top of page



Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)   The Senior Community Service Employment Program provides paid, part-time work experience for eligible persons.  Training that is available through the program takes place at various locations and is subsidized (e.g., paid for by the program).  The program also provides its participants with supportive services; training workshops; and, help with finding employment.
Skilled Care Institutional care that is less intensive than hospital care in its nursing and medical service, but which includes procedures whose administration requires the training and skills of an RN.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) A facility which has been certified by Medicare and/or Medicaid to provide skill care. The regulation requires that a Registered Nurse (RN) be on duty at all times to supervise and/or provide needed care.
Social Security Administration (SSA) The federal agency that administers the social security program which provides benefits to retirees, adults with disabilities, children with disabilities, and survivors of those social security eligible.
Social Security Disability Income

(SSDI) SSDI is designed to protect workers covered under the Social Security program who become severely disabled. Applicants are eligible based on a uniform set of standards. The criteria used to award disability benefits requires that the condition either be expected to result in death or last at least 12 months. To qualify, the individual must be unable to perform any substantial work because of a medical condition.


Social Services Block Grant

(SSBG) A Federal grant that enables each State to furnish social services best suited to the needs of the individuals residing in the State. Federal block grant funds may be used to provide services directed toward one of the following five goals specified in the law: (1) To prevent, reduce, or eliminate dependency; (2) to achieve or maintain self-sufficiency; (3) to prevent neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children and adults; (4) to prevent or reduce inappropriate institutional care; and (5) to secure admission or referral for institutional care when other forms of care are not appropriate.


Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) A Medicare beneficiary who, because of low income and limited financial resources, qualifies to have certain medical expenses covered at no additional cost.
Speech Therapy or Speech-language pathologists

(ST)  Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency.

Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.


Spina Bifida

(SB) A neural tube defect (a disorder involving incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, and/or their protective coverings) caused by the failure of the fetus's spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. Infants born with SB sometimes have an open lesion on their spine where significant damage to the nerves and spinal cord has occurred. Although the spinal opening can be surgically repaired shortly after birth, the nerve damage is permanent, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis of the lower limbs. Even when there is no lesion present there may be improperly formed or missing vertebrae and accompanying nerve damage. In addition to physical and mobility difficulties, most individuals have some form of learning disability.


State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) A council that unites disability advocates and state agency policymakers to ensure that individuals with disabilities are integrated within the community.
State Plan on Aging The State Plan on Aging describes new objectives that the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities plans to undertake with Title III and Title VII funds under the Older Americans Act. It is available in electronic format in the Publications section of this website.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

(SNAP)  Previously known at the Food Stamp Program, SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. You apply for benefits by completing a State application form. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores.
Supplemental Security Income

(SSI) Administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI makes monthly payments to people who have a low income and few assets. To get SSI, you must be 65 or older or be disabled. Children as well as adults qualify for SSI disability payments. As its name implies, Supplemental Security Income "supplements" your income up to various levels--depending on where you live. The federal government pays a basic rate and some states add money to that amount. Generally, people who get SSI also qualify for Medicaid, food stamps and other assistance. SSI benefits are not paid from Social Security trust funds and are not based on past earnings. Instead, SSI benefits are financed by general tax revenues and assure a minimum monthly income for elderly and disabled persons.


Support Groups A group of people with common concerns and interests who share, comfort and sustain each other over an ongoing period of time.
State Unit on Aging

(SUA) . The Federal Administration on Aging awards funds under the Older Americans Act and amendments to the 57 State Units on Aging (which are located in every State and Territory.) These funds provide a broad range of services for older persons including but not limited to such things as: nutrition services, homemaker services, nursing home ombudsman program, legal services, and elder abuse prevention.




Back to top of page



Telecommunications Relay Service

A telecommunications relay service (TRS) allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired to communicate through a communications assistant (CA) with people who use a standard telephone. A CA relays the TTY (text telephone or telecommunications device for deaf and hard of hearing people) input to the telephone user and types that person's response back to the TTY user. Telecommunications relay services can be reached by dialing 711.
Just as you can dial 411 for information, you can dial 711 to access all telecommunications relay services anywhere in the United States. The relay service is free.


Telephone Reassurance Program This program provides telephone calls to individuals over the age of 60 who are homebound and/or live alone. Each day a caller with the program telephones the older adult at a specific time to ask if he/she is safe and well, requires special assistance, or has any problems. The program provides important reassurances and social contact for those who might otherwise be isolated.
Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) This provides cash assistance for the basic needs of children who are not under both parents’ care and support. Some of those needs could be for food, clothing, and rent. Children in financial need, as well as the relative with whom they live, may be eligible for cash assistance if they meet financial eligibility requirements.
Traumatic Brain Injury

(TBI) A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild," i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to "severe," i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.

Functional changes can affect thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior, and/or sensation. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age. 




Back to top of page



Walk Delaware Delaware Senior Olympics, in partnership with DSAAPD is signing up more seniors every month who agree to WALK DELAWARE this year. Simply walk the length of Delaware (96 miles) – 1 1/2 miles a day – or the width of Delaware (35 miles) – 1/2 mile a day – at home, in your neighborhood or recreation area.



Back to top of page

Last Updated: Friday November 07 2014
site map   |   about this site   |    contact us   |    translate   |