What is Custodial Care?

Custodial care is assistance provided to help you perform your activities of daily living (bathing, preparing your meals, dressing, toileting, and more). While the care may be necessary for day-to-day living, it is not a medical treatment that requires the skills of a licensed person to perform. Your need for assistance may be considered a social need.

Custodial care is a common exclusion on medical policies. If you are concerned about needing custodial assistance in the future, you may wish to consider a long-term care policy.

Here’s an example:

You are an unfortunate soul with bilateral carpal tunnel (an inflammation of the tendons that run through a narrow tunnel of your wrist to your hands). You have finally reached the point where surgery is the only answer. You hate the idea of having any surgery so you beg your physician to repair both hands at the same time. Your physician reluctantly agrees.

You are sent home the day of surgery with both of your hands wrapped to your elbow. That’s when it hits you. How are you going to cook meals, get dressed or even go to the bathroom with both of your hands wrapped?! Heck! You can’t even open your front door!

You know your health insurance policy covers care in the home. You contact a local home health care agency and describe your need for aid with some simple home chores and hygiene over the next month or more.

The agency informs you that your medical insurance policy does not provide financial coverage for the services you described. They question if you have a long-term care policy in place. You remember you do have such a policy and that it provides care for just situation! Pretty lucky, eh?!

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