Programs that offer health care and treatment procedures that fall outside the mainstream of conventional medical practice. Most alternative approaches provide preventive care in addition to treatment of established conditions, define health as more than just the absence of disease, focus on natural healing as the treatment of choice, avoid invasive procedures to the extent possible, and approach individuals holistically dealing with their mental, emotional and spiritual needs in addition to the physical body. Many have their origins in the medical systems of non-Western cultures or in ancient healing traditions. Some alternative therapies are used instead of traditional Western "biomedical" procedures; others are complementary, used in addition to conventional care.
Programs that implant devices which provide useful hearing and communication ability for people who have severe to profound hearing loss, including those with nerve deafness. Cochlear implants have electrodes or "channels" which are placed in the inner ear and stimulate remaining nerve fibres to transmit signals which the brain can interpret as useful sound.
Programs that provide comprehensive medical and/or surgical services on an inpatient or outpatient basis for people who have a targeted disease, condition or disorder.
Programs that assist patients who have had an ileostomy, urostomy or colostomy to learn the proper methods of caring for their ostomy sites.
Programs that make necessary medical services available in the homes of people who are aged, ill or convalescing.
Programs that provide inoculations or other prophylactic measures to prevent susceptible individuals from contracting specific diseases for which means of control have been developed. Included are immunizations recommended specifically for newborns and young children, booster shots to prevent the occurrence of childhood illnesses in adolescence and adulthood, inoculations recommended specifically for pregnant women and immunizations against illnesses such as shingles and pneumonia for older adults.
Programs that provide for the comprehensive management of the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and existential needs of patients with the objective of helping them achieve the best possible quality of life through relief of suffering, control of symptoms and restoration of functional capacity while remaining sensitive to personal, cultural and religious values, beliefs and practices. The focus of palliative care is on people with incurable, progressive illnesses who are in the early stages of their illness. Palliative care may be provided in a wide variety of health care settings including hospitals, nursing facilities, hospice facilities and the person's own home; and may be coordinated with other services including curative therapies.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.