IX Glossary

Abduction: The movement of a limb away from the body’s midline. For example, hip abduction is the movement of the leg away from the midline of the body when getting out of bed.

Active assist range of motion: Movement of a joint by an individual with partial assistance from an outside force.

Active range of motion: Movement of a joint by the individual with no outside force aiding in the movement.

Activity intolerance: The reduction of a person’s stamina and their ability to perform activities.

Adduction: The movement of a limb towards the midline. For example, if a person has their fingers spread wide apart, bringing them back together is adduction.

Built-up handles: Specialized silverware that allows the use of utensils by individuals with limited functional ability of their fingers (such as severe arthritis) to hold a smaller handle.

Cataracts: A vision condition causing clouding of the clear lens of the eye.

Coagulate: Form a clot.

Comorbidities: Coexisting health conditions.

Compression stockings: Stockings that apply gentle pressure to a limb to reduce edema; also referred to as thrombo-embolic-deterrent (TED) hose.

Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT): A blood clot that forms within the deep veins, usually of the lower leg, but can occur anywhere within the cardiovascular system.

Depth perception: The ability to determine distance between oneself and another object.

Dysphagia: A swallowing disorder.

Edema: Fluid retention causing swelling in the extremities.

Expressive aphasia: A speech disorder where a person understands what other people say but struggles to form words.

Extension: Movement that increases the angle between two bones. For example, extension occurs when doing a bicep curl and the arm is  straightened back to starting position, increasing the angle between the elbow joint.

Flexion: Movement that decreases the angle between two bones. For example, contracting the bicep to lift a weight upwards is flexion.

Glaucoma: A visual condition that occurs due to high pressure on the optic nerve that results in loss of peripheral vision, blind spots, or even blindness across the entire visual field.

In-patient therapy: Rehabilitation treatment that occurs in a facility where the client is staying.

Macular degeneration: A visual condition that causes a blind spot in the center field of vision and is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50.

Occupational therapists: Therapists who assess, plan, implement, and evaluate interventions to help clients achieve their highest possible level of independence in completing their activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, grooming, eating, and dressing.

Out-patient therapy: Rehabilitation treatment that occurs when an individual is staying at home and visits a therapist once or twice a week.

Passive range of motion: When passive range of motion is applied, the joint of an individual receiving the exercise is completely relaxed while the outside force moves the body part.

Physical therapists: Licensed health care professionals who assess, plan, implement, and evaluate interventions related to clients’ functional abilities in terms of strength, mobility, balance, gait, coordination, and joint range of motion.

Presbycusis: Hearing loss that occurs due to the aging process.

Receptive aphasia: A speech condition that causes difficulty in understanding conversations.

Rehabilitation: Therapy to help people regain body functions they lost due to medical conditions or injury.

Respiratory therapists: Therapists who treat respiratory-related conditions in patients.

Segmenting ADLs: Breaking up activities of daily living (ADLs) to accommodate a client’s activity intolerance.

Snellen chart: A common tool used for assessing distant vision.

Speech therapists: Therapists who assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders.

Weighted silverware: Specialized silverware with a weighted handle for individuals with tremors or unsteady hands.


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