Activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are a good way to assess how well your mom can live alone. ADLs cover things she must be able to do to survive. IADLs are tasks she needs to be able to complete in order to age at home comfortably and safely.
When you’re coming up with the elderly care services that most benefit your mom, ADLs and IADLs are the best way to decide. Use these lists to pinpoint where she needs care and where she can do things independently.
A List of ADLs
There are six main ADLs. They are:
- Feeding oneself and drinking fluids to avoid dehydration
- Bathing or showering independently
- Using the toilet correctly, cleaning up after, and being able to hold the bladder
- Walking from room to room and up and down stairs without help
- Getting in and out of bed, a car, and standing up after sitting
- Dressing oneself
The ADLs ensure a person can chew and swallow so that they fuel their body with vital nutrients. For aging adults who live alone, ADLs are the steps they take to stay clean and avoid bacterial infections. They can get up and move around, which helps avoid pressure sores. If they can’t do these independently, elderly care services that help with personal care, ambulation, feeding, and dressing.
A List of IADLs
IADLs cover a lot of ground. While ADLs cover swallowing liquids and foods, IADLs cover cooking those foods and getting the glass of water or juice. Other IADLs are:
- Cleaning and housekeeping
- Taking prescription medications correctly and ordering refills when needed
- Choosing insurance coverage and plans
- Driving or being able to arrange a ride
- Paying bills and depositing checks
- Answering the phone and making calls
- Creating shopping lists, budgeting, and buying groceries and other necessities
Caregivers can help with that, too. Your parents can have caregivers help them make payments on time. They can make calls to schedule appointments or order refills. Caregivers can cook meals, clean the house, and drive your parents around. If needed, caregivers can help your parents complete them instead of taking over and doing them for them.
The level of services needed depends on your parents’ abilities. They may be able to do some of the IADLs or ADLs on their own, so they’ll only need a few elderly care services. They may need higher levels of care, which means daily elderly care for hours at a time. Either way, all it takes to make arrangements is one phone call.