These definitions are offered as an aid to understanding jargon and acronyms you might run across, and these are not a complete list.  

Please help us expand, clarify and further refine this list by commenting on existing definitions and suggesting new ones.

(ADL) Activities of Daily Living

ADLs refer to the following activities: eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, locomotion, and transferring in and out of a bed or a chair. Some HCBS programs require that clients need assistance with a specified number of ADLs. 


(ADRC) Aging and Disabilities Resource Center

ADRC is an acronym for Aging and Disabilities Resource Center. There are currently five regional centers operating in Alaska providing comprehensive information and assistance to seniors and individuals with disabilities: 

Anchorage and Mat-Su Region
907-248-4777 or 800-770-4488

Fairbanks Regional Office
907-479-7940 or 800-770-7940

Southeast Alaska Regional Office (Juneau) 
907-586-4920 or 800-478-7245

Kenai Peninsula Regional Office
907-262-6333 or 800-770-7911

Kotzebue Regional Office
907-442-2393 or 877-442-2393


(ADRD) Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders

Some programs are targeted toward individuals with ADRD and their caregivers. 



Conservatorship is a legal arrangement in which a person or institution is appointed to handle the financial affairs for another person. The conservator collects and deposits all income, pays all debts and bills, secures all assets, and handles taxes and insurance. A person appointed as guardian may also be appointed as conservator, or a separate conservator can be appointed. For more information please see the Alaska Court System Family Law Self-Help Center.


Electronic Living Will

Living wills may be stored electronically through the National Living Will Registry. For more information, please see their website.



Guardianship is a legal arrangement where a person or institution is appointed as a guardian to make decisions for an incapacitated person - decisions about housing, medical care, legal issues, and services. For more information please see the Alaska Court System Family Law Self-Help Center.


Home Health

Skilled health-related services are provided by a nurse or certified nursing assistant on an intermittent or short-term basis at home under the home health program. Individuals must be determined “home-bound” to qualify for home health services. 


Home Modification

Home modification provides adaptation or renovation to the living environment intended to increase ease of use, safety, security, and independence. Modifications that would make a home more accessible include widening doorways, adding wheelchair ramps, and adding hand rails in bathrooms. For more information please see the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation website.


Hospice Care

Hospice care is a coordinated program of palliative care for individuals with a terminal illness. There is focus on symptom management rather than recovery. Programs include nursing care and support, pain management, and training for family and friends. More information is available at the national website.


Independent Senior Housing

Independent senior housing offers apartments for seniors and adults with disabilities. Facilities may have common space for group activities, but usually other services are not provided. For more information please see the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation website.


(IADL) Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

IADLs refer to the following activities: preparing meals, shopping for personal items, medication management, managing money, using the telephone, doing heavy housework, doing light housework and transportation ability. Transportation ability refers to the individual’s ability to make use of available transportation without assistance. 


Living Will

A living will is a legal document in which the individual may state what type of health care is or is not desired under certain circumstances. Additionally, the individual may name someone to be a durable health care power of attorney to help make health care choices. Living will forms may be accessed at the State of Alaska Public Health website.


(LTC) Long Term Care

This care offers assistance, expected to be provided over a long period of time, to people with chronic health conditions and/or physical disabilities who are unable to care for themselves without the help of another person. The care provided is not limited to nursing or assisted living facilities, but is also provided to individuals in their homes and communities via home and community based services. This care may include care coordination, home health, PCA services, respite care, adult day services, home delivered meals, transportation, or any combination of many of the services defined under home and community based services. 


Outreach refers to interaction with individuals initiated by an agency or organization for the purpose of identifying potential clients (or their caregivers) and encouraging their use of existing services and benefits.