What Is Custodial Care? Types, Facilities, and How To Choose One

What is custodial care

Custodial care is a common type of long-term support for the elderly who require non-medical assistance on a daily or ongoing basis. Custodians in this capacity are not obliged to have any medical training, official training, or certificates. Custodial care can take place in a variety of settings, including at-home senior care, adult day care, assisted living facility, and residential care facilities. Continue reading to learn more about this custodial care, including average prices, care options, and where to find great senior custodial carers and insurance.

What Is Custodial Care?

A custodial care facility (CCF) is a part of long-term care. However, they do not provide a high level of medical care. You may be more familiar with them as nursing homes or rest homes.

While there, staff monitors their residents’ well-being. This encompasses both their physical and emotional well-being. However, because they do not provide intensive medical care, they are better suited for people who do not require continual observation. They continue to provide crucial services, with one of their most important qualities being the ways they enrich the lives of inhabitants through recreational, educational, and social outlets.

It is also feasible to hire a home caregiver who offers similar services. They assist with everyday activities and provide assistance to the seniors as needed. They may also do errands or do some housekeeping.

This is especially significant for elderly people, who are more likely to experience social isolation and loneliness.

How Custodial Care Works

Some people with specific medical, physical, or mental impairments are unable to do daily living activities on their own and require assistance. These activities, such as eating, using the toilet, bathing, dressing or getting out of bed, moving around, and so on, can be reasonably and safely performed by carers with no medical or nursing expertise. Beneficiaries under custodial care are those who are under the care of non-medical assistants.

Custodial care is not the same as skilled care, which can only be administered or supervised by certified and trained medical professionals. So a beneficiary in need of skilled care may be receiving physical therapy, recovering from an injury, requiring intravenous injections, or requiring catheter care, among other things.

Custodial care is a facility of long-term care (LTC) that can be provided at a nursing home or at home. In-home caregivers or assisted living assistants can meet the majority of custodial care demands. Custodial care can be expensive, hence it is normally paid for out of pocket. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance may also provide coverage for the cost of long-term care.

Custodial Caregivers’ Responsibilities

Custodial carers, as previously said, are professionals who offer care to the elderly, sometimes medically qualified, sometimes not. They often do not give medical care, but rather assist with more normal, day-to-day duties. The following are some of the tasks you might expect:

  • Helping in the kitchen, including meal preparation and grocery buying
  • Assisting with movement, as elders frequently require assistance going around. This includes lifting and transporting items around the house.
  • Driving seniors to and from appointments and other locations.
  • Dressing Seniors
  • assisting seniors in getting to and from the restroom, including duties such as toilet use and bathing

Custodial care is distinct from companion care in that custodial care includes assistance with chores such as toileting and bathing, whereas companion care largely focuses on social and emotional support.

Custodial Care vs. Skilled Care

Patients who require medical services require skilled care. They are frequently recovering from medical problems and receiving end-of-life care. They are also medically trained, often as nurses. So, they can provide more comprehensive care, such as prescription delivery, catheter care, wound care, physical therapy, and intravenous injections.

If the patient only needs assistance with day-to-day duties, specialized care may be unnecessary. Custodial care is more long-term, daily care that is frequently prescribed for the elderly.

Where Can I Get Custodial Care?

Custodial care is available in:

  • Home
  • Community care facilities (adult daycare)
  • Nursing homes with advanced training

Types of Long-Term Care

 Custodial CareIntermediate CareSkilled Care
PurposeAssistance with ADLs to maintain current status and meet current needsRehabilitative or restorative servicesMedically necessary nursing care, therapy, or rehabilitation
FrequencyPeriodically or dailyIntermittently or periodicallyDaily
Provided ByFamily, friends, health aidesPhysicians, nurses, licensed therapistsPhysicians, nurses, licensed therapists
Provided InHome, community care centers, skilled nursing facilitiesHome, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilitiesSkilled nursing facilities
DurationUsually long-termUsually, short- to mid-termUsually short-term

What are Custodial Care Services?

You may require a variety of assistance in your senior years or after a medical emergency, depending on any physical, medical, or mental conditions you may have. Custodial care is largely concerned with assisting with activities of daily living, or ADL. These daily activities grow more difficult to perform independently as you age. As a result, a caregiver may assist with self-care activities such as dressing, eating, bathing, movement, using the restroom, and other activities.

However, caregivers in custodial care do not always need medical or nursing training. They may have prior experience as an assisted living aide or as an at-home caregiver. If a resident needs more consistent care or supervision, he or she should be under the supervision of trained medical personnel, such as those in skilled nursing care.

So, if a senior requires physical therapy following surgery or has a degenerative condition, they need care from professional medical experts, not just a caregiver. This degree of attention is typically more expensive than custodial care.

Custodial Care Cost

If you’ve determined that you or a loved one needs the aid of a non-medical caregiver, you should be aware of the costs involved. Several factors contribute to the cost, including:

Do you require full-time, part-time, live-in, or as-needed care?

Will you hunt for a caregiver on your own or will you require the help of an agency? An agency can do all of the work for you because they know where to look and will ensure that everyone they locate is qualified; however, they will cost you more.

  • Will you seek adult day care, in-home care, or a retirement community?
  • Is the person who needs care suffering from a memory disorder or another ailment that necessitates special attention?

With those considerations in mind, the following 2017 national averages will give you a general indication of the cost of care:

  • Non-Medical Homemakers: $3,994 per month
  • Personal Care and Non-Medical Home Health Aides: $4,099 per month
  • $1,517 per month for adult daycare

The Advantages of Custodial Care

Custodial care has numerous advantages. This form of care can also assist seniors in remaining independent and living in their own homes for a longer period of time. Custodial care can also provide relief for family carers who require a break from their caregiving responsibilities.

The Downsides of Custodial Care

Custodial care has some disadvantages. One of the most serious issues is that this form of care can be expensive. Families may have to pay for services out of pocket in some circumstances. It is also worth noting that most private health insurance plans do not cover custodial care services.

Another issue with custodial care is the difficulty in locating appropriate providers. In some circumstances, family caregivers may believe that their loved one’s care provider is not providing them with the assistance they require. If you are considering custodial care for a loved one, we recommend that you do your homework and select a trustworthy service.

How to Select the Level of Custodial Care

Nursing homes provide a wide range of care options. Ill people may require 24-hour care, i.e., competent nursing care, or they may merely require minimal monitoring. Some institutions offer a single level of care, while others serve residents with varying levels of need. A skilled nursing facility is your best bet if you require intensive supervision and medical care due to illness, injury, or a medical condition.

A nursing home or similar facility, on the other hand, is better suited for long-term room and board with minor help or health monitoring. However, if you suspect you will require more intensive care in the future, a CCFC is worth considering. Alternatively, a facility that facilitates custodial care transitions may be preferable.

The goal is to choose a facility that offers the appropriate ambiance, level of care, and type of custodial care. Some elderly people may have medical issues that necessitate specific care. Individuals suffering from dementia, for example, require memory care. So, look for specialized services that correspond to your current and future medical needs.

How to Fund Custodial Care

Custodial care is offered for people who do not have medical problems, and it is usually not covered by health insurance. People recovering from an accident who require intravenous injections or a catheter, as well as the elderly, are examples of main custodial care patients. It can be difficult to pay out of pocket, but there are ways to mitigate the cost.

Custodial care is not frequently provided by custodial care alone. You can acquire Medicare coverage if the care is prescribed by a licensed practitioner and delivered by Medicare-certified care. It will pay for Medicare-licensed carers for up to 100 days.

Custodial care can be covered by Medicaid if it is provided in a nursing home. If you choose at-home care, you will need to find another solution. However, you will have to pay out of pocket at first before Medicaid kicks in. If you require in-home care, long-term care insurance may cover it. Medicaid benefits will vary depending on the state you live in, so do your research.

Insurance for Long-Term Care. Long-term care insurance, which may be the best option for paying for custodial care, can be paired with Medicaid for full coverage. They are fixed-price policies that can assist you in paying for in-home custodial care. However, because it is long-term insurance, you can receive payment for numerous years.

Custodial care is a vital facet of caring, whether done by a family caregiver or as part of more comprehensive long-term care, such as nursing home care. In-home caregiving, whether given by a hired personal care provider or a family caregiver, is a viable answer for many families of older persons who require custodial care.


Custodial care is a stage of aging that many people will experience. It is not as intensive as other levels of care, yet it still serves an important purpose for seniors. They are supported and can keep some degree of independence as a result of it. However, most senior care is expensive. Planning is essential for individuals who believe they may require this for themselves or a family member.

Custodial Care FAQs

What is a custodial nurse?

Corrections and custodial care Nurses provide nonjudgmental on-site healthcare to each facility, with responsibilities ranging from medication administration through primary care, chronic disease management, mental health issues, midwifery, pediatrics, and emergency care.

What's the difference between a skilled nursing facility and a nursing home?

The main distinction is that a nursing home is permanent housing for people who require 24-hour care, whereas a skilled nursing facility is a temporary habitation for patients undergoing medically necessary rehabilitation treatment.

What does intermediate care mean?

An “Intermediate Care Facility” is a health facility, or a distinct section of a hospital or skilled nursing facility, that provides the following basic services: Inpatient care is for patients who require competent nursing supervision and supportive care but do not require hospitalization.

What does custodial mean in healthcare?

Custodial care services are typically performed by individuals such as nurses’ aides.

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