Assessing ADLs and IADLs

When an aging family member or someone in your care starts to need support, it can be difficult to know how much care and support they need, as well as the best way to provide them with it. Are they still able to take care of themselves on a daily basis or do you need to start thinking about more comprehensive, long-term care options?

A good way to understand this is to assess their ADLs and IADLs. Read on to find out more about these and why they’re important to senior care.

What are ADLs?

ADLs are activities of daily living. These are essential everyday self-care tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, moving around the house, eating, and using the bathroom. Seniors may lose the ability to complete some of these activities due to mobility issues, such as requiring help to get out of bed and move into the next room due to a physical disability. Or, seniors with a condition such as dementia may not have the cognitive reasoning ability to understand the need to carry out these tasks, if their symptoms are advanced.

Seniors who are unable to carry out ADLs are likely to require around-the-clock care, either at home or in an assisted living community.

What are IADLs?

IADLs are instrumental activities of daily living. These include slightly less basic everyday tasks that are just as essential but may require greater abilities and cognitive skills. Examples include doing essential chores around the house, like cleaning and doing the laundry. They also include managing money, managing medication, buying groceries and preparing meals, and transporting yourself to appointments and other places outside of the house.

Again, these activities may be impeded by either cognitive or physical limitations, or a combination of the two. As slightly more complex tasks, the ability to complete IADLs is likely to decline before ADLs. Seniors who can still carry out ADLs but are beginning to struggle with IADLs may need occasional care with certain tasks or may be suited to either an independent or assisted living community depending on their abilities.

If you are worried about a senior loved one, then these are the tasks that you should monitor to help you assess their ability to live independently. A change in their abilities could indicate a need for a change in medication in some cases, or it may simply be a case of providing more comprehensive care.

If you need help assessing your loved one’s care needs or require support caring for them, then contact Brookstone Terrace of Woodruff to find out more about our care options and assisted living community in Woodruff, SC.