Glossary

Advance Directives
A verbal or written instruction plan in advance of incapacitating illness or injury which ensures that the resident's wishes about treatment will be followed for a short or long period of time. This includes but is not limited to a health care proxy, an order not to resuscitate recorded in the resident's medical record and a living will.
Baseline & Special Services
Designated Representative
The individual or individuals designated to receive information and to assist and/or act on behalf of a particular resident to the extent permitted by New York State law. This is not the same as a health care agent. The designation occurs by a court of law if sought; by the resident if he or she has the capacity to make such a designation; or by family members and other parties who have an interest in the well-being of the resident. The name of the designated representative must be noted in the resident's clinical record at the facility.

The designated representative:

  1. receives any written and verbal information required to be provided to the resident if the resident lacks the capacity to understand or make use of the information, and receives any information required to be provided to both the resident and the Designated Representative;
  2. participates (to the extent authorized by New York State law) in decisions and choices regarding the care, treatment and well-being of the resident if such resident lacks the capacity to make decisions and choices.
Family Health Care Decisions Act
Public Health Law 29-CC: A New York State law that provides legal authority for surrogate consent to any type of health care decision for residents who cannot make their own decisions and who do not have a health care agent under a health care proxy.
Governing Body
The policymaking body of the facility, the board of directors or trustees of the facility or the proprietor or proprietors of a nursing home.
Health Care Agent
Someone appointed by the resident he or she trusts to decide about treatment if the resident becomes unable to decide for himself or herself. The resident has the right to appoint someone by filling out a form called a Health Care Proxy. These forms should be available at the facility.
Health Care Proxy
A document that delegates the authority to another individual known as a Health Care Agent to make health care decisions on behalf of the resident when that resident is incapacitated.
Nursing Home
A facility (subject to Article 28 of the New York State Public Health Law) providing lodging for 24 or more consecutive hours to three or more nursing home residents who are not related to the facility operator by marriage or by blood, who need regular nursing services or other professional services, but who do not need the services of a general hospital.
Quality Assessment and Assurance Committee
A committee consisting of at least the facility administrator (or designee), director of nursing, a doctor designated by the facility, at least one member of the governing body (not affiliated with the nursing home in an employment or contractual capacity) and at least three other facility staff members, meeting at least quarterly to oversee the effectiveness of monitoring, assessing and problem-solving activities for purposes of initiating quality improvements designed to advance the quality of life, care and services in the facility. The committee meets quarterly with the resident council to seek recommendations or quality improvements.
Resident
An individual who has been admitted to and who resides in a nursing home (facility) and is entitled to receive care, treatment and services required by New York State Law.
Resident Care Unit (or nursing unit)
A designated area that includes a group of resident rooms and adequate supporting rooms, areas, facilities, services and personnel providing nursing care and management of residents that is planned, organized, operated and maintained to function as a unit so as to encourage the efficient delivery of resident services and effective observation of and communication with facility residents.
Resident Council
The organization created by residents of a nursing home and recognized by the facility as the group that represents the interests of its members.
Sponsor
The agency or people, other than the resident, responsible in whole or in part for the financial support of the resident, including the costs of care in the facility.
Surrogate
A person who makes health care decisions on behalf of a resident who lacks decision-making capacity and who does not have a health care agent under a health care proxy. Surrogates are prioritized as follows: a spouse (if not legally separated from the resident) or domestic partner; adult child, parent, adult sibling; close friend.