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NUR205 Perspectives on Aging: Terminology

Resources for finding information on health care issues and the 65+ age group.

Look Up Definitions

Identify Keywords

Computer Search imageDatabases have controlled vocabularies and in order to find scholarly articles on your topic, you need to use the same vocabulary as the database.  Look for a link to thesaurussubject headings, etc.

Here are some keywords and phrases you could use:

  • 65+:  Use the thesaurus in each database to see what term(s) they assign to this age group.  Some may have a preference between elderly, agedaging, "older people", etc.  Use AND to connect your search terms, depending on your topic:
    • Diseases:  Narrow to a specific one (Alzheimer's, dementia, etc.)
    • Family issues:  Narrow to "sandwich generation", driving, "caretaker stress", "grandparents raising grandchildren", etc.
    • Living arrangements: Narrow to different types ("nursing homes", "assisted living", etc.)

Health Care vs. Healthcare

health care (noun):  a set of actions by a person or persons to maintain or improve the health of a patient/consumer


  • I have developed a plan for my patient’s health care.
  • A heavier emphasis on preventive health care by patients and providers will improve health outcomes and quality of life.
  • The RNs in this practice provide the majority of the health care for their patients.
  • Special case: hyphenated adjectival form of “health care”
    • Health-care services have become more expensive and more complex over the last 50 years.
    • The health-care needs of the patients in this hospital wing are much higher than the needs of the average patient.

healthcare (noun or adjective):  a system, industry, or field that facilitates the logistics and delivery of health care for patients/consumers


  • Noun
    • I hope to work in healthcare one day.
    • Healthcare’s number and diversity of players grew significantly over the course of the twentieth century.
    • Modern healthcare requires both skilled clinicians and savvy, experienced business professionals to be effective and successful.
  • Adjective
    • The healthcare IT industry has been booming as a result of the strong demand for population analytics and effective electronic health record (EHR) systems.
    • Healthcare reform has been a tough but important process to address many of the systematic failures of the healthcare system.
    • Many former Wall Street professionals are moving into healthcare finance as a result of the industry’s massive growth.