Seniors who are fully functional have the physical and cognitive abilities to independently manage the daily tasks necessary to live in a community. These tasks can be categorized as the activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).
Six ADLs are vital for living without assistance. Eight IADLs, though not as critical to independent living as ADLs, are still considered important when evaluating a senior’s ability to thrive on her own. Evaluations of a senior’s capabilities are conducted with various assessment tools.
The results of the ADL and IADL evaluations are utilized to provide home care assistance, as needed. Case managers (who may also be social workers or registered nurses) are likely to perform the assessments. Physicians use the input to develop plans of care, while home health agencies depend on the assessments to create a nurse’s plan of care. Government and insurance programs rely on the ratings to determine the level of financial help.
What are the six ADLs?
The six activities of daily living include personal care tasks that may be performed without help, direction or assistance. Bathing, dressing and toileting are the first of the ADLs. The last of the six ADLs include continence, feeding and ambulating.
Bathing involves not only one’s ability to step inside the shower, but includes brushing one’s teeth properly, shaving and similar cleaning habits. A person living with Parkinson’s disease will likely experience difficulty performing these tasks due to physical symptoms of the illness, like hand tremors, rigidity or slowed movement.
Aging persons may fumble with choosing the appropriate clothes to wear for particular occasions or lack the physical stamina required for dressing. Or, an elderly neighbor may struggle to put on a blouse, due to weakness.
Getting to the bathroom can be a monumental feat for frail, elderly individuals. Even once inside, the bathroom remains notorious for being a high-risk zone for falls. Toileting, then, can become problematic without support. Installing toilet risers is helpful, but assistance with cleaning may be necessary.
Continence issues arise as people grow older. The ability to control one’s bowel movements and bladder is required to ward off ill health effects. Adult diapers are useful, but only appropriate if a caregiver changes them as needed. Catheters, too, can help with continence problems.
Malnourishment is a risk for aging people. The ability to nourish oneself by eating nutritious meals daily can be a challenge when physical or cognitive abilities decline and access to fresh fruits and vegetables becomes limited. When feeding issues arise, caregivers may step in to help.
Ambulating around the home becomes difficult as seniors’ physical abilities weaken. Climbing stairs or walking several feet becomes a frustrating event. Common instances also involve individuals who are too frail to shift in bed, a situation that leads to health issues. Assistance with mobility becomes necessary.
What are the eight IADLs?
The IADLs are home maintenance, money management, meal preparation, transportation, shopping, communication, medications and transfer capabilities.
Proper home maintenance and cleanliness keep an unsafe environment at bay. Older people may trip over rugs. Glass tables with sharp corners are a safety risk. Falls are sure to occur in rooms filled with clutter. Caregivers are trained to create a safe home setting, thereby preventing injury.
Paying bills on time is an important part of money management. A senior who experiences cognitive decline may forget to pay the utility bills or end up making risky financial decisions, like making large and unusual purchases. Family members should take notice when finances go awry.
Standing over a hot stove to cook a nutritious meal saps the energy right out of a frail senior, leading to weight loss and a lack of nutrients. When meal preparation becomes burdensome, a caregiver will have to step in to ensure the elder has access to balanced meals daily.
As individuals age, the reluctance to drive emerges. Without the ability to make split-second decisions, some seniors avoid sitting behind the wheel. Seniors rely on family members, friends or caregivers to help with transportation to accomplish grocery shopping, errands and visits to the doctor.
A senior’s ability to communicate is a fundamental life necessity, especially during an emergency or crisis situation. Communication competencies include making phone calls, managing doctor and therapy appointments and being able to relay hunger, thirst, toileting needs and other life essentials.
Medication management is vital to living. Older people who experience ailments that effect memory, like dementia, are prone to forget to take medicines that are essential for their survival. Home care aides or family members are important in providing medication reminders.
Being able to move about in the home is important to a senior’s quality of life. Transfer assistance, such as helping a senior out of a recliner or wheelchair or shifting a senior in bed, is available through compassionate caregivers.
When a senior’s normal routines are affected by cognitive or physical decline, extra support is needed. In-home care options are abundant, especially considering most seniors prefer to age in the comfort and familiarity of home. Your senior care needs are met with a reputable home care agency, like Assisting Hands Home Care.
Caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care are skilled in providing comprehensive in-home care services. Assistance with the ADLs is routine. Professional caregivers help with all personal care tasks, like bathing, grooming, incontinence care and dressing.
Help with the IADLs is also standard in caregiving duties. Senior care services include assistance with transportation (such as to doctor’s appointments or social activities), ambulation (in and out of bed or a sofa), grocery shopping, food preparation and light housekeeping.
All Assisting Hands Home Care caregivers are licensed, bonded and insured to offer care recipients and their families maximum peace of mind. Meeting with senior care representatives to develop a tailored care plan starts the caregiving process. Assisting Hands Home Care is dedicated to serving the elder populations from Boynton Beach to Jupiter, including Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, FL and the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County .
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