Domiciliary Care: What is it?

Senior woman meeting with agentDomiciliary Care (or Dom Care) is a supervised living arrangement in a home-like environment for adults who are unable to live alone because of age-related impairments or physical, mental or visual disabilities. This type of program is appropriate for those age 18 and older, who are unable to live independently and who need assistance with activities of daily living.

Domiciliary care home programs are regulated by each state. In general, these homes are smaller than traditional personal care homes and often the Dom Care home is the individual provider’s home. They are inspected annually to insure health and safety standards are met.

Who is a Candidate for Domiciliary Care?

Domiciliary care residents are those who cannot live independently and are generally low in income. Most residents are either physically disabled, have demonstrated difficulties in social or personal situations that are usually associated with mental disability or mental retardation, or frail elderly persons. They must be willing to live with a family.

Local agencies determine who is appropriate for domiciliary care. But, in general, residents are not so functionally impaired as to need nursing home care. They need to be mobile or semi-mobile such that they can vacate the home in case of fire with minimal assistance.

Why Become a Dom Care Resident?

Residents of a domiciliary care program receive much more than room and board. They receive supervision with self-help activities such as:

  • bathing
  • grooming
  • meals
  • housekeeping
  • laundry services

If the resident takes medications, the provider oversees the dosage. But most importantly, residents become incorporated into a caring “family” and are encouraged to enjoy a sense of belonging and independence.

Who is the Typical Dom Care Home Provider?

Domiciliary care providers are typically individuals who open their homes and are willing to provide support and care for a resident. They participate in a certification process to make sure their home meets health and safety requirements. Providers need to be willing to work with case managers to access a resident’s situation.

They also need to be concerned, caring individuals who have the desire to give daily, personalized care and attention to residents. One of the provider’s major goals is to help make residents feel comfortable in their own home.

Who is Eligible for Domiciliary Care?

Although eligibility for domiciliary care may vary from state-to-state, basically, dom care residents must be age 18 years or older and financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In addition, they must be unable to live independently in the community due to age-related disabilities or physical, mental or visual disabilities.

Veterans Administration (VA) benefits are also available for many long-term services such as domiciliary care. Veterans Assisted Living and dom care programs care for a range of problems including:

  • medical
  • psychiatric
  • vocational
  • educational
  • social

Eligibility requirements for VA domiciliary care may differ, but they usually include: honorable discharge veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or the legal spouse of an eligible veteran, a resident of the state and age 62 or older, unless disabled and unable to work.

In addition, veterans’ annual income must not exceed a certain amount or they may have no adequate means of support. These programs also require veterans to participate in their treatment as well as be capable of independently managing activities of daily living.

Written by senior care writer Leslee Jaquette.

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