Senior Guidance

Custodial Care

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Senior care comes in many different forms, one of which is custodial care. This type of care is very popular for older people who are in need of regular daily assistance that does not include medical care. Caregivers don’t need to have any type of medical training in order to provide custodial care to the elderly, and there is also no form of training or certifications required.

What is Custodial Care?

If you are not quite sure what custodial care is, we will explain it in a way that is easy to understand. Custodial care is when a caregiver or aide will provide help with daily tasks and the basics of living (ADLs). This can include meal preparation assistance, bathing, feeding, and generally anything else a senior may need help with during the day.

There is no medical care provided during custodial care, although most forms of custodial care are provided according to a doctor's recommendation. There is no specific facility that handles custodial care and it can be provided in any location. Some seniors will receive custodial care in their homes, a retirement community, or even in an assisted living center.

An In-Depth Look into Custodial Care

Unlike hospice or palliative caregivers, custodial caregivers aren't required to maintain formal medical training. Most caregivers assist seniors with daily basics such as eating, grooming, bathing, restroom assistance, and other ambulatory care needs. Many caregivers will also run errands and perform light housekeeping and cook meals if required. Most seniors who use custodial care are those who suffer from chronic conditions that are not fatal but also have no hope of full recovery.

Custodial care is available on a long term or short-term basis. Many families will hire a caregiver to supplement the care they provide for their loved ones in their own homes. In addition to home-based custodial care, it is also available in long term care facilities, retirement homes and assisted living communities. It is important to remember that custodial care does not include medical care, so the provider is unable to administer medications to the senior.

While custodial caregivers are not required to hold any form of certification, the vast majority are professionals. There is a small percentage of custodial caregivers who are medically trained, but the majority are not. It is important to note that companion care and custodial care are vastly different. A companion will offer emotional support and other social support whereas custodial care is physical assistance with basic tasks that are needed to live normally.

Custodial Care Vs. Skilled Nursing Care

Custodial care is very different from skilled nursing. Skilled nursing care is for seniors who are in need of medical assistance while they are recovering from a procedure or a senior who is receiving hospice or palliative care. Skilled nurses are trained in medical procedures and have been licensed to provide limited medical services to seniors or other patients. In addition, skilled nurses work under the direction of a team of medical professionals who are knowledgeable about the specific needs of their charge. Skilled nurses are able to administer medication, care for wounds, offer physical therapy and insert catheters. Custodial caregivers, on the other hand, are not trained or allowed to perform any of the tasks provided in skilled nursing facilties, but are able to assist only with basic care and living needs.

Payment Options for Senior Custodial Care

There are a few ways families can arrange payment for custodial care. Many traditional long-term care insurance plans will include a payment benefit for informal caregivers that offer custodial care for the senior in question. Make sure to sit down and go over the policy carefully to determine if such care is covered. If you are uncertain, a quick call to the insurance provider can clarify any lingering questions. You should be aware that some policies will only cover skilled nursing care, so make sure that you are choosing the right type of care that is covered by your loved one's policy.

Veterans benefits will cover some if not all custodial care services. When those services are given in the home or in a VA hospital, 100% of care is covered. In some cases, SSI disability recipients are able to avail custodial care benefits. The most common question regarding payment options is if the care is covered by Medicaid or Medicare. Medicare may pay for short term custodial care that lasts for 99 days or less if requested by a medical professional and paired with skilled nursing care. In general, custodial care benefits are not provided for the long term.

Medicaid does cover custodial care if the senior meets the financial requirements. The caveat is that this care must be availed while the senior is housed in a senior care facility, nursing home, or memory care community. In special cases, adult daycare for seniors or homemaker custodial care services may be provided.

Long term care insurance is the best payment option and can be combined with supplemental Medicare coverage to offer you loved one the custodial coverage they need to thrive.

The Cost of Custodial Care for Seniors

After speaking with your family and your loved one about the need for senior custodial care, it is important to discuss the cost associated with the service. Custodial care is non-medical, which means it will cost less than other forms of assisted care. There are other factors that will also play a part in the final cost of care for your loved one.

There are four basic levels of custodial care: full-time, live-in, as-needed and part-time. Each level will have a different rate. You should also decide if you plan to search for a caregiver for your loved one on your own or if you take help from a professional agency. Working with an agency will cost you more, but you will have more assurance in knowing that the help provided is properly trained and reliable.

Where the care will be provided also plays a part in the cost. Will you need a caregiver in your loved one's home, your own home, or do you plan for custodial care to be provided in an assisted living community for seniors? Any special circumstances such as the senior having a medical condition or a memory condition may also affect the rate.

On average, you can expect to pay around $1,500 monthly for custodial care in an adult day care facility while a custodial caregiver who works in the home averages around $4,000 monthly for non-medical custodial care.

Most seniors who make use of custodial care will still remain in their own home or under the care of their loved ones. There are times when custodial care may be used when a senior is housed in an assisted living community or senior living facility. In these cases, the family will choose to provide custodial care to ensure that their loved one is well cared for in any situation. An assisted living home can range from $2,900 a month up to $6,000 a month depending on the location and other provided services. Nursing homes with private rooms that offer custodial care are more on the higher end of the charge scale at around $8,000 a month. Semi-private rooms in a nursing home may be slightly less, but not by much.

When Is It Time to Consider Custodial Care?

Custodial care is similar to staying in an assisted living community and it can also be provided while residing in a senior living facility. Most seniors who make use of custodial care still live at home on their own or with their family members. There are several reasons why an elderly person may require custodial care, mostly when they are in need of regular assistance to complete basic tasks.

Seniors who are suffering from a medical condition or who are recovering from a medical procedure may be good candidates for custodial care. This type of care is non-medical, so if your loved one is of sound mind but is physically unable to handle everything on their own, a helping hand may be just what they need. A custodial caregiver will help them to manage all of the little details of their lives, similar to an office assistant, only this is for their personal needs.

Elderly people who are in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may also benefit from mid-term custodial care. During the early stages of most memory conditions, seniors are still able to function to a high degree and do not have additional medical needs. A custodial caregiver can ensure they remain safe, eat their meals on time and generally go about their day in a normal fashion.

A lot of older people will stay with their loved ones as they grow older. This will give them the help they need while still being surrounded by those they love. As seniors age, their care needs will increase. If you are unable to dedicate the amount of time your loved one needs, a custodial caregiver can help ease the burden of their care. This can be on an as-needed basis, part-time, or even as a live-in option if that is what is most beneficial.

Custodial care is also available for seniors who are housed in assisted living facilities, nursing homes or retirement communities. These caregivers can be hired independently or through the communities that your loved ones are a part of. A custodial caregiver will give you the peace of mind of knowing your loved one has the help they need while still allowing them to maintain their independence.

How Do I Choose A Custodial Caregiver?

Choosing a caregiver for your loved one is probably the easiest step in the entire process. You can hire a custodial caregiver on your own or you can hire an agency to locate one on your behalf. Sometimes, assisted living facilities will offer their own staff to fill in the role of a custodial caregiver if your loved one is already a resident.

Regardless of how you choose to locate a custodial caregiver, you will need to look over their qualifications and conduct an interview. Medical care is not a part of a custodial caregiver role, however if you find a person who has additional medical training, then consider it a bonus.

Make sure to ask for references for prior jobs in the same field and make sure that you follow up with those references. It is a good idea to run a background check on anyone you plan to hire. If possible, conduct the interview with the caregiver with your loved one present. It is important that the personalities of your loved one and the caregiver match in order to create a cohesive and trusting relationship.

Where Can I Find Custodial Care?

There are many assisted living communities for seniors in most urban and metropolitan areas that offer custodial care. Some retirement communities are set up in scenic locations to ensure elderly people can remain close to nature, while others are located deep in the heart of the city. Whatever your custodial care needs may be, when you are planning on moving your loved one into a senior assisted care facility, the availability of custodial care will always play an important role in the selection process.

Finding which community works best for you can be as easy as making a few phone calls and visiting the centers that have all the services that you need and seek. Taking into account the environment of each community can also help narrow down the search. Are you looking for an assisted living center that is easily accessible, and next to the metropolitan areas, or perhaps would like a community away from the city in more rural and quiet areas located outside of town? These are a few questions to ask yourself when searching for senior assisted living homes that offer custodial care.

Our directory offers a wealth of information regarding custodial care, general senior care, memory care and much more for the seniors in your life. We are happy to help you choose an option that works best for you and your loved one that also fits their individual needs.



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