Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Professionals who work with seniors often want to know whether an elder needs help with their “ADLs or IADLs.”
These terms stand for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are key life tasks that need to be managed daily in order for a person to live at home and be fully independent.
If you’re a family caregiver, it is best to familiarize yourself with these terms.
Difficulties with ADLs and IADLs correspond to how much help, supervision, and care an elder needs.
This level of care can determine the cost of care at a facility, whether someone is considered “safe” to live at home, or even whether a person is eligible for certain long-term care services and benefits.
Basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
ADLs can be broken down into the following categories:
• The ability to do their own grooming, brushing teeth, cleaning dentures, nail and hair care.
• The mental and physical ability to wash one’s face in a sink and body in the bath or shower.
• A person’s mental and physical ability to properly use the bathroom including getting to the toilet, cleaning oneself, and getting back up.
• The mental and physical ability to select and dress in the proper clothes for different occasions and appropriately for the current weather.
• The ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare their own food.
• The extent of a person’s ability to move from a seated to standing position as well as get in and out of bed.
• The ability to walk or otherwise get around the home or outside. The technical term for this is “ambulating.”
Each of these categories affects a person’s ability to care for themselves and can mean the difference between independent aging and needing daily assistance.
Financially, ADLs determine the eligibility of an elderly or disabled person to receive State and Federally-funded government assistance and to qualify for reimbursements from Long-Term Care Insurance.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are more complex tasks, but are tasks that also need to manage in order to live fully independent.
IADLs can be broken down into the following categories:
• The mental and physical ability to do meal planning, cooking, clean up, store and safely use kitchen equipment and utensils.
• Cleaning, washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, removing trash and clutter, doing laundry and folding clothes to maintain a hygienic home as well as keeping up with home maintenance.
• The mental and physical ability to manage medication needs, taking medications at the correct times and correct dosages.
Companionship and Mental Support
• Assitance that may be needed to keep a person in a positive and healthy state of mind.
• The ability by either driving themselves, arranging rides, or using public transportation, to get to the store and back to purchase their groceries, pharmacy needs and other supplies without help
• A person’s a mental and physical ability to select and make appropriate food and clothing purchase decisions, take care of pharmacy needs and other shopping needs without assistance. This is a decision making task is different than the task of getting to a store.
Communicating With Others
• The ability to use the phone to make and receive calls, handle the mail and generally making the home hospitable and welcoming for visitors.
• The ability to manage bank balances, checkbooks and the paying bills on time.
ADLs And IADLs Assessments Are Important
• Individuals or their loved ones, often begin asking for assistance when they notice the signs of difficulty with ADLs and IADLs .
• Even though there are distinctions between ADLS and IADLs, the term “Activities of Daily Living” often used for both.
• Individuals need to be able to manage their ADLs and IADLs in order to live independently without the assistance of another person.
• Professionals assess ADLs and IADLs as part of determining a person’s ability to “function” on their own.
• Issues with ADLs and IADLs reflect problems with the individual’s physical health and/or cognitive health.
• Identifying any functional difficulties with ADLs and IADLs is used to diagnose and manage health issues.
• Determining functional difficulties is required to develop a Care Plan to get the support needed.
• ADLs and IADLs assessments are a critical part of getting financial assistance from the various payers of care. such as Medicaid, the VA, State programs and Long-Term Care Insurance.
About Unique HomeCare Services
Unique HomeCare Services provides in-home care for elders and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.
We offer a full range of in-home care services such as personal care, grooming and incontinence care, bathing and dressing, post-hospitalization care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, and medication management.
We also provide non-medical support services such as meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, caring companionship, shopping/errands, accompanying to medical and other appointments, as well as case management services.
Our services are available for long-term and short-term care needs from as little as a one 4 hour day visit a week to 24 Hour and Live-In Care.
We also offer Respite Care services to assist family caregivers going away or with caregiver fatigue.
It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.
We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.
Our service area is Boston, Norwood, Dedham, Westwood, Walpole, Canton, Sharon, Stoughton, Avon, Braintree, Easton, Milton, Quincy, Weymouth, and surrounding towns.
To schedule a no cost and no obligation full In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs of you or your loved one please call us at (800) 296-9962 to speak to a Case Manager or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.