Certain activities that seem easy in the youthful days get tough in the advancing years. These fundamental activities cover a whole spectrum of actions that help to live independently and maintain well-being in the advancing years. These tasks, collectively known as the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), are essential to the bedrock of our existence.

Visualize yourself as an older adult with difficulty doing basic chores like bathing, brushing, making meals, etc. How would you continue living like this while struggling daily to meet your needs? As you continue reading every word of this blog, you may feel trapped in your body, wishing someone would come to your rescue.

Worry not; with the introduction of a home care agency, life gets easier. Thanks to caregivers who help loved ones fulfill their needs and make them independent in the comfort of their homes.

In this blog, we are going to unravel the components of ADLs and gain insights into the number of activities that define them. Let yourself immerse yourself in the knowledge of its significance and how home care agencies play a crucial role in elevating the standard of living.

What are the Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, are a list of fundamental tasks that young adults or individuals perform without any assistance. The term was first coined by Sidney Katz in 1950 to indicate the status of bodily functions.

These status indicators predict an individual’s living conditions and determine the need for medical care, non-medical services, and other alternative arrangements. Sometimes, chronic illnesses like cardiovascular diseases and terminal illnesses hinder the person’s ability to continue carrying out ADLs, making them completely dependent on a Caregiver or CNA.

It is crucial to know which skills are categorized under ADLs to determine whether you are active or not. Therefore, in the next section, we are going to discuss the number of basic skills that are included under ADLs.

Currently, 6 activities are categorized under ADLs. These include:

Activities of Daily Living Points

Mobility: The ability of an individual to move, change his or her position, or shift and walk independently.

Feeding: The person can eat without anyone’s assistance.

Dressing: The ability of a person to select an appropriate dress and put it on or take it off.

Personal Hygiene: The ability of a person to bathe or groom without any assistance and to maintain nail care, dental hygiene, or hair care.

Continence: The ability of an individual to control the bowel or bladder function without any medication or medical assistance.

Toileting: The ability to go to the toilet, clean or freshen up, and use it appropriately.

As you absorb this information, you’ll gradually notice how these basic skills can have a big impact on your life. Now picture yourself as a child who needs money just to buy candy. You had asked your parents to get candy because you had no money or were broke. Gradually, you learn to manage your finances and can buy things on your own. This is called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.

What are the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living?

The IADLs, or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, require complex cognitive skills and organizing skills that help an individual live independently in the golden years. Regardless, these are different from ADLs, as you don’t need to do them every day. However, these activities are essential to maintaining your independence and well-being.

However, you may have noticed that your grandparents or any aging adult have difficulty managing finances or doing some physical tasks like home maintenance or cleaning. This happens mostly due to health complications that affect physical and cognitive well-being in the later phase of life.

List of IADLs

  • Cooking or preparing meals 
  • Financial management, paying bills, banking, and budgeting 
  • Medication management
  • Grocery shopping, toiletries, buying clothes, and other necessary items
  • Doing household chores like cooking, maintaining a house, and light housekeeping
  • Pet care, plant care
  • Taking care of loved ones or younger children
  • Transportation management, like driving or using public transportation
  • Having proper communication skills or speech clarity
  • Social interaction, like engaging in hobbies and socializing with friends and families

Grasping the basic idea of ADLs and IADLs helps determine whether you need home care or home health care. 

Now that we have a brief idea of the number of fundamental skills included in the ADLs and IADLs, it’s time to take the next step. Embrace the joy of the golden years with independence and dignity by unlocking the doors to continue living in the comfort of your homes.

However, overlooking the needs and preferences of the advancing years can result in some unexpected consequences, highlighting the significance of meeting your health considerations. Therefore, acknowledge your needs and rediscover your life with a new meaning. Evaluate your or your loved one’s needs to determine the kind of help they need with ADLs or IADLs. From personal care to homemaking, explore the various kinds of home care services with us and let your loved ones enhance their well-being at every step of the way.