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

Abuse

A single act or repeated acts or the lack of appropriate action which occurs within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, and which causes a person harm or distress. Abuse of adults has been variously categorised, but is usually accepted as including physical, emotional, oral, financial, material, sexual and racial abuse, and neglect, together with abuse through inappropriate restraint, the misapplication of drugs or use of inhuman or degrading treatment

Access to files

Arrangements for a service user to consult, and if necessary challenge, the records kept on them, while preserving the confidentiality of others.

Adaptations

Modifications made to buildings or equipment to make them accessible to, and usable by, people with disabilities.

Admission

The process by which a person enters a home or other residential setting, involving an assessment, the service user's and the establishment’s decisions to proceed, the agreement and signing of the contract, the physical arrival of the person at the home and their introduction and settling in period.

Adult protection

The policies, procedures and processes of protecting vulnerable adults from abuse.

Adult Social Services Department

The department of a local authority, sometimes known by a slightly different name, which is responsible for providing or commissioning social care services for older people, younger adults and other vulnerable groups.

Adverse drug reaction

An unwanted or unexpected reaction to a medicine.

Advocacy

The action of an advocate, representing service users to help them to say what they want and to obtain their rights and appropriate services.

Advocate

A person who is independent of the home or service and of the other agencies involved in purchasing, providing or regulating care, who acts on behalf of, and in the interests of, service users who feel unable to represent themselves in dealing with practitioners.

Age discrimination

Action based on chronological age alone which disadvantages an older person. Discrimination can also be positive, involving action specifically taken to promote the best interests of older people, but age discrimination is generally used negatively.

Agency

An organisation involved in the provision of care.

Antipsychotic drugs

Drugs properly used to treat psychosis, including schizophrenia, but also often given to people with dementia.

Assessment

The process of identifying the needs of a person and evaluating their impact on daily living and quality of life by systematically collecting and interpreting appropriate information about them, their lifestyle and their history. Assessment, undertaken with the person concerned and perhaps with their relatives or representative, should be the basis for any sort of planning of care, as diagnosis is for medical treatment. Assessment often involves input from a range of people from different specialisms and is then described as multidisciplinary.

Assisted bath

A bath which is designed to permit side or end access for a mobile hoist or other mechanism, so that service users with a disability can be conveniently and safely transferred from a bed, couch or trolley into the bath.

Audit Commission

The independent Government body which monitors and reports on some local authority and other public sector services.

Autonomy

A person's right to make independent choices and to exercise control over their own lives, in practice often used as a synonym for independence.