We should probably talk about hospice.

We know that the transition to hospice care can come with a surge of emotions, coupled with a whole new set of healthcare jargon that can make things even more confusing. 

We’ve compiled a list of the most common terms that you may encounter while navigating hospice care and explained them below so that you can better understand your care. 


Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

The basic tasks that you do every day to take care of yourself. These tasks include things like getting dressed, eating, bathing, using the toilet, moving around, and brushing your teeth. ADLs can be used to assess a person's level of independence and support needs.

Advance Directive (AD)

A legal document that lets doctors know your wishes for medical treatment and care if you become seriously ill and cannot communicate your choices.

Assisted Living Facility (ALF)

A residential place where individuals who need some assistance with daily tasks can live comfortably, but it's not as intense as a hospital.

Bereavement Support

Emotional, psychological, and social assistance offered to family members and loved ones after the death of a hospice patient. At Guaranteed, we go beyond the traditional 13-month hospice benefit by providing loved ones with lifetime access to support through Guaranteed Guide.

Care Circle

At Guaranteed, we refer to patients and their loved ones, including family members, friends, and other caregivers, as a Care Circle. Upon admission to our services, we collaborate with and provide support to the entire Care Circle. 

Care Plan

Sometimes referred to as a Plan of Care (POC), a care plan is designed in collaboration with a patient, their loved ones, and their care team to personalize care to their needs and preferences.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A trained caregiver who assists with personal tasks like dressing, eating, and bathing for individuals who need extra help.

Comfort Care

An approach to care that focuses on providing physical and emotional comfort to patients rather than curative treatments.

Continuous Care

An enhanced level of care provided at home during a critical period to manage severe symptoms and prevent hospitalization.


Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

A medical order indicating that a patient does not wish to undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case their heart or breathing stops.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Medical devices prescribed by a doctor for long-term use at home, such as a hospital bed or wheelchair.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (POA)

A legal document that designates a trusted person to make medical decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make their own decisions. Also known as healthcare proxy.

End-of-Life Care

Specialized support and medical attention for individuals who have serious illnesses and are nearing the end of their lives. At Guaranteed, we work to give everyone the end-of-life they wish for—one that is safe, supportive, and personal.


Guaranteed Guide

Guaranteed Guide is a  text message-based concierge service for patients and their loved ones, which we refer to collectively as a Care Circle.

Healthcare Proxy

A legal document that designates a trusted person to make medical decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make their own decisions. Also known as durable power of attorney for health care (POA)

Holistic Care

Comprehensive care that addresses not only the physical needs of a patient but also their emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.


A type of care that prioritizes comfort and support for individuals with terminal illnesses and their families.

Hospice Residence

 A facility designed to provide hospice care in a home-like setting with 24-hour medical support.

Inpatient Hospice

Hospice care offered in a dedicated facility or hospital for patients requiring intensive symptom management.

Interdisciplinary Team (IDG or IDT)

A team of professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, and more, who collaborate to provide comprehensive care to hospice patients.


Living Will

A legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment and interventions if you become unable to communicate your wishes, especially in situations where you are close to the end of your life.


Medical Director

A licensed physician responsible for overseeing the medical aspects of hospice care.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

A trained nurse who provides medical care, prescribes medications, and manages treatment plans.

Nursing Visits

Regular visits by hospice nurses to assess and manage the patient's condition.


Palliative Care

Comfort care focused on providing relief from pain and managing symptoms for individuals with serious illnesses, not limited to end-of-life care.

Plan of Care (POC)

Also referred to as a Care Plan, a plan of care is designed in collaboration with a patient, their loved ones, and their care team to personalize care to their needs and preferences.

Quality of Life

The overall well-being and satisfaction of a  patient in terms of physical, emotional, and social aspects.

Respite Care

A temporary break given to family caregivers while the patient receives care in a different setting.

Routine Home Care

Regular care visits to wherever you call home ensuring symptoms and pain are managed and that you are comfortable .


Service Intensity Add-On (SIA)

 If a patient requires more intense care for certain periods, they can receive additional support from the hospice team. The SIA is designed to help the patient manage their symptoms and pain more effectively during times when their condition may be more challenging such as in the final seven days of life.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

Also known as a nursing home, it's a facility that offers 24-hour nursing care and medical supervision for individuals requiring more intensive care than can be provided at home or in an assisted living facility.

Social Worker (SW)

A professional who provides emotional and practical support to patients and families during hospice care.

Symptom Management

The treatment and relief of various symptoms, such as pain, nausea, and shortness of breath, to improve a patient's comfort and quality of life.

Terminal Illness

An incurable disease or condition that is expected to lead to a person's death within a relatively short period, often six months or less. 



Compassionate individuals trained to spend time with patients, offer companionship, and assist with various needs during hospice care.


If you still have questions or come across a term that isn’t in our glossary, please call us at (323) 300-4707, and a member of our care team will be happy to discuss it with you.

Do you or a loved one need hospice care?