Glossary

Commonly used terms are below

Is a way to help a patient think about, talk about, and capture or write down wishes for health care based on their values and preferences. In other words what they want and don't want.  It includes choosing an agent (a person) who can make decisions (Personal Directive); clear instructions to agree to (consent) or refuse (withhold consent) treatment in specific circumstances or situations; and it often includes Goals of Care Designation

A chronic disease is a health condition that lasts 1 year or more and needs ongoing medical attention or limits a person's daily activities or both.

End of life care is for people who are in the last weeks or days of their life. It can include supports for physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and practical needs.

A legal document that let's you give another person the right to make financial decisions on your behalf

The Goals of Care Designation is a medical order that is made by a patient and their healthcare provider (made together after they talk about it) that describes how medical staff should give care that follows what a patient wants (a patient’s wishes and values), depending on their health condition. Health care involves three general approaches: Medical, Resuscitative, and Comfort. Within each approach, there are sub categories. The medical order is signed by the patient's doctor.

A plastic pocket that holds Advance Care Planning documents and other forms that describe what a patient wants for health care. It is given to patients cared for in Alberta Health Services (AHS) who have talked about, or completed forms, that describe what they want, and what decisions to make,  about their current or future health care.  Within the Greensleeve there may be: 

1. Goals of Care Designation Order, when one exists 

2. Advance Care Planning Goals of Care Tracking Record 

3. Personal Directive copy, if one exists 

  4. Guardianship Orders, if one is in place for the individual

A health plan is something that you can write by yourself or with your healthcare team. It tells you what you need to do to manage your health condition at home. It can include what signs and symptoms to look out for, what foods to eat and avoid, the best exercise for you, and when to contact your healthcare team.

In medicine a health condition is a health problem with certain symptoms and characteristics. An example of some health conditions are heart disease, asthma or diabetes.

A healthcare team means two or more health professionals working together. Your healthcare team will work with you to learn your health care needs and work with you to give you safe, effective and personalized care.

A legal document that allows an Albertan to choose one or more people as their Health Care Agent(s). The legal document includes instructions for the Agent(s) if you are unable to make decisions yourself. The instructions can include your preferences and wishes about your health care (what you want and don't want) that can include end of life wishes.

Alberta does not have “living wills”, instead we have “Personal Directives” and it can be registered with the “Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee” (OPGT).

A preference is when you like or want something more than something else.

Shared care planning is completed with your healthcare team and can include questions about your: health conditions, medications/treatments, your supports, your hopes, needs, or wants for your personal health care.

Supportive care is given to improve the quality of life of people who have an illness or disease. It supports the patient by trying to prevent or treat the symptoms of the disease, and the side effects caused by any treatments for the disease.

Palliative care wants to make the quality of life better for people (and their families) who are living with an illness that cannot be cured; at any point in their  illness.

Palliative care thinks about the whole person; it can help with:
•    Physical care & medications e.g. pain, nausea & vomiting, breathlessness;
•    Emotional support e.g. help managing the anxiety of living with an illness that cannot be cured; 
•    Spiritual support and practical plans for the future e.g. advance care planning.