What Are the Activities of Daily Living?

What Are the Activities of Daily Living?

When speaking with anyone associated with seniors, you often hear the phrase activities of daily living or ADL’s.  What exactly are they, and how do they come to bear on where and how a senior might live?

Most experts will agree that activities of daily living include routine physical tasks and actions that healthy people perform daily with no assistance - bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, continence, and mobility.  Help with mobility is probably the ADL that is most commonly required.  This would include assistance with walking or transferring from a bed to a chair.

Another term that you might hear is the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s).  These represent the activities that are important to a person’s self-sufficiency.  These activities include (but are not limited to) grocery shopping, housekeeping, laundry, taking medication correctly, managing money, using the telephone, and transportation.

It’s important to assess and evaluate both the ADL’s and the IADL’s to determine the level of care a senior might potentially need.  Also, we need to remember that not everyone who has an issue with one or more ADL or IADL will require assistance.  Many rely on canes, grab bars, wheelchairs, and other equipment.  Others manage (sometimes with great difficulty) to perform the activities themselves.  It may take a lot longer and perhaps be painful, but they get the job done.

When you’re considering a move into an assisted living community for your loved one it will be necessary to have an appraisal of their ADL’s to determine exactly what their needs are and to be certain that the community is capable of meeting those needs. ADL’s also come into play when applying for some benefits, including Veteran’s Benefits.  Additionally, most long-term care insurance policies rely heavily on a person’s ability to perform the ADL’s when determining eligibility.

Please contact Lane Keating at 585-259-0811 if you have any questions about ADL’s or IADL’s.  I would be happy to assist you in any way I can.


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