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Care • 3 minute read

A Caregiving Glossary

By Kristina James
Published by Ruby

Ruby helps you and your family work together to prepare and organize finances.

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The world of caregiving has its own language, which can be confusing when you’re new to the game! We’ve created a handy glossary to help you know your Powers Of Attorney from your Primary Beneficiaries.

If there’s a word or phrase you think is missing, please let us know! We’ll be updating it as we all learn together.



A company-sponsored retirement account that isn’t taxed until the holder withdraws the money, usually when they retire. The employer sometimes matches contribution.

Advance Directive:

A written statement, usually in a living will, that states how the person’s wishes for medical treatment are carried out when the person is no longer able to communicate with a doctor.

Aging In Place:

The wish and/or ability to remain in your own home as you age, rather than moving to a continuing care facility or nursing home.


A disease that causes mental deterioration, usually in middle or old age. It is the most common cause of dementia in older adults.


Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or Motor Neurone Disease. A disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.


A valuable piece of property owned by a person or company.


Someone eligible to receive funds from a trust, will or life insurance policy.


A way of investing in a company. While Stocks are a part-ownership of the business, bonds are part-ownership of a business’s debt. They provide income to the buyer by earning interest.

Brokerage Account

An investment account that is opened with a brokerage firm. It enables you to buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other assets with money you deposit in it.


A person’s ability to make a decision regarding their medical health and everyday life.


Someone who looks after a child, disabled, elderly or sick person.

C.F.P. (Certified Financial Planner)

An expert in financial planning, taxes, estate planning, insurance, and retirement.


In Ruby, your Circle is the people you choose to have access to your account. It includes the people you choose to be kept in the loop about your loved one’s finances, and those who can see the information you upload to the vault.

Continuing Care Facility:

A retirement home that provides various stages of care. This usually ranges from fully independent living to 24-hour nursing care. Residents can transition through the needed levels of care as they age.

Durable Power Of Attorney:

A designated person able to make financial, medical or legal decisions for another person that stays in effect, even if that person becomes unable to handle matters independently.


All money and property owned by a person, even after death.


The value of shares issued by a company.


An independent government agency that protects the money people deposit in the bank, even during bank failures.

F.I.P.O.M. (Financial Independence and Peace Of Mind):

Being able to live comfortably without having to work.

Healthcare Power Of Attorney:

A designated person able to make health care decisions when that person is unable to make those decisions. This can be because they are unconscious or under anesthetic, or because they have been legally deemed incapable.


A law protecting patients’ medical records and other health-related documents.

Home Healthcare Agency

An agency that provides nursing services in the patient’s home.


A home or service that provides care for the terminally ill.


A retirement savings account to hold stocks, bonds and other assets with big tax breaks.

Living Will:

A written statement of a person’s medical wishes for when they are incapacitated or unable to handle matters independently.

Long Term Care Insurance:

A policy that assists in covering the care of a patient’s chronic illness.


Health coverage for people over the age of 65, receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or End-Stage Renal Disease.

Mutual Funds:

Professionally managed by a broker, Mutual Funds allow investors to pool their money together to invest in something.

Nursing Home:

A residential home for older people that provides around the clock healthcare.

PCP (Primary Care Practitioner)

A healthcare professional, usually a doctor or Nurse Practitioner, that provides every-day primary care.

Power Of Attorney:
Someone given authority to act for another person in legal, medical or financial matters.

Primary Beneficiary:

The first person or organization to receive money or benefits from a will, trust or retirement account.


The process of administering a deceased person’s estate.

Quality Of Life:

The acceptable standard of health, life, and happiness of a person or group.

Roth IRA:

A retirement account where you pay tax on the money before you invest it. This means that when you withdraw money you do not have to pay tax on it as you do with a regular IRA or 401K.

Secondary Beneficiary:

A person or organization who receives benefits from a will, trust or retirement account when the primary beneficiary has died before the holder.

Self Determination:

The power to make your own legal or medical decisions without external influences.

Social Security:

A government system that provides economic security to retirees, disabled people, or the family of disabled or deceased people.


Skilled Nursing Facility. A temporary residential facility that deals with rehabilitation or other full-time medical needs.

Springing Power Of Attorney:

Someone given the authority to act for another person in legal, medical or financial matters, but only when the person is incapacitated.


Owning a small part of a company.


An online, digital safety deposit box to keep all your loved ones important information and records.


A written document of a person’s wishes for their estate when they have died.

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