WYNTK so you don’t have to say WTH!

How many times have you read a text message or email which included acronyms but you didn’t know what the letters stood for?

You just stared at it –SYH (shaking your head) trying to figure out the meaning.

Keeping It REAL Caregiving offers this short lesson on what I believe are some key letter combinations YNTK (you need to know) so you are not caught by surprise and left asking WTHJH (what the heck just happened)?

1. SNF – Skilled Nursing Facility

A Skilled Nursing Facility is what many commonly refer to as a Nursing Home. This type of facility caters to the needs of individuals who have more advanced and long-term medical care needs or rehabilitation after a hospital visit.

For instance, let’s say an elder loved-one suffers a stroke which requires hospital treatment. They are released from the hospital several days later, but they can no longer walk, prepare food or eat without help.

Maybe they are unable to stand or go to the bathroom on their own? Returning home may not be an option.

*Photo Credit: First Day Of In-Room Family Member Visits At Skilled Nursing Facility

In such a case, a Skilled Nursing Facility would likely be the prescribed destination.

In California, SNF’s are licensed and reviewed by the California Department of Public Health.

Medicare and Medicaid typically cover fees associated with a Skilled Nursing Facility stay when an individual is referred from the hospital. There are time limits for length of care. Some SNF facilities only accept individuals via a hospital referral.

All of these little details are why Keeping It REAL Caregiving urges you to do your homework before you face a crisis situation. Knowledge is power.

*KIRC highly recommends reviewing the Medicare & You 2022 handbook to understand your coverage*

*Related KIRC articles you may have missed on this topic*

2. ALF – Assisted Living Facility

Unlike a SNF, an Assisted Living Facility can provide short and/or long-term care for individuals needing non-medical assistance. In California, the Department of Social Services oversees the licensing, inspections and any citations for ALF’s.

We’ve all seen commercials for such properties touting amenities (regular BINGO, hair/nail salons/movie outings/exercise classes) and the like.

These activities are fine and dandy, but it is just as important (maybe even more so) to understand staffing protocol:

  1. Are there CNA’s – Certified nursing assistants on hand?

  2. How are staff members trained?

  3. Will your loved one receive top-level care?

Keep in mind, there is no federal mandate requiring a ‘staff-to-client’ ratio per shift in nursing homes. However, such a proposal has been put forth by the White House.

New York recently passed a law for minimum staffing within nursing homes.

Thus far, your correspondent has not been able to find similar legislation for assisted living facilities.

When researching ALF’S, it’s important to ask about staffing, training, meal services, showering policy, and emergency evacuation plans.

You should also know these facilities are private pay, meaning Medicare does not cover the costs. Prices can range drastically depending on where you live – sometimes upwards of $9,000 a month!

Courtesy: Genworth Cost of Care Survey/2020

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3. LTC – Long Term Care

Long Term Care can refer to both medical and non-medical care. It might mean LTC provided in a facility (SNF or ALF) or in a private home.

LTC doesn’t necessarily only impact older loved ones. LTC could come into play for someone who suffers a medical illness or accident which leaves them needing care.

It is crucial to consider how you will pay for LTC and educate yourself on various insurance options.

It’s also important to understand the claim approval may not be determined by the level of care needed, but rather how a facility is licensed.

KIRC recommends you talk with your insurance agent and/or financial planner to review the best options for you and your family.

*Be sure to visit Keeping It REAL Caregiving for related articles and videos on LTC*

4. ADL – Activities of Daily Living

Understanding what are classified as Activities of Daily Living can be critical for getting insurance claim approval.

The National Library of Medicine classifies ADL’s as such:

  • Ambulating: The extent of an individual’s ability to move from one position to another and walk independently.

  • Feeding: The ability of a person to feed oneself.

  • Dressing: The ability to select appropriate clothes and to put the clothes on.

  • Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe and groom oneself and maintain dental hygiene, nail, and hair care.

  • Continence: The ability to control bladder and bowel function

  • Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.

Be sure to read the fine print on any insurance policies regarding how many ADL’s you need help with in order to qualify for your policy’s insurance coverage.

*A dear friend who worked as an insurance intake nurse advised me and my mother to answer yes to needing help with all of the ADL’s. She said the company would often look for any wiggle-room to deny clients coverage*

Courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. DME – Durable Medical Equipment

Durable Medical Equipment refers to items one might require after a hospital stay. You’re going back home but now you or your loved one needs assistance getting around.

DME can include items such as, wheelchairs, walkers or scooters, hospital beds and commode chairs – and more.

Ask your care planner at your hospital to review anything and everything you may qualify for under your private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid coverage to find out what you are eligible for.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: ‘We don’t know what we don’t know,’ and nowhere is that more true than in family caregiving. Ask questions and share your knowledge with others!


*YOU’RE INVITED to a Premium Subscriber Event – the KIRC Virtual Storytime!

Monday, May 16th, 2022 @5PM Eastern – ZOOM

May is Older Americans Month. To help celebrate, KIRC is hosting the first virtual storytime event!

We’ll share stories of someone in our lives who have motivated and/or inspired us as a result of a life-lesson or story passed down.

Who is that person in your life and how have they impacted you? Hope you will continue to support the mission of Keeping It REAL Caregiving by becoming a Premium Subscriber and join us for STORYTIME – see you then!


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*Photo Credit: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 24: Resident Hanna Nasi is visited by daughter Surab Nasrallah on the first day of in-room family member visits at the Ararat Nursing Facility in the Mission Hills neighborhood on March 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 80 percent of residents were vaccinated and in-room family member visits are once again permitted at the skilled nursing facility amid eased COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)