If you’re considering assisted living or home care services for yourself or a loved one, you’ve likely encountered some unfamiliar terminology (check out prior posts on commonly used acronyms in senior living).
One of the terms used most frequently is activities of daily living, or ADLs (another acronym referenced often is IADLs, instrumental activities of daily living). Both apply to an individual’s level of independence/need for assistance.
Q: What activities are considered ADLs? IADLs?
A: The five basic personal care tasks we perform on a daily basis: bathing, feeding, toileting, dressing, and transferring (getting out of bed/into bed, moving from a sitting to standing position, etc.). Instrumental activities of daily living are more complex and not necessarily completed each day: laundry, shopping, housekeeping, managing finances, food preparation, transportation, medication administration, and using the telephone.
Q: What do ADLs/IADLs have to do with senior care?
A: Those considering assisted living/other care options will first be assessed by a senior care professional (nurse, medical social worker, physician, or geriatric care manager); their evaluation will be based primarily on the individual’s ability to handle these activities independently and safely. If the individual can complete all ADLs/IADLs without any assistance, independent living is probably the most appropriate setting; those who require minimal assistance should consider assisted living; and individuals who require help with all tasks may need 24-hour care.