Your dad’s doctor asked how he’s doing with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). The doctor said these are good indicators of your dad’s ability to take care of himself. You’re not sure what the differences are between the two. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding the Differences Between ADLs and IADLs
ADLs are things you do for yourself each day that keep you safe and healthy. They’re the vital steps you take to avoid
infection, starvation, and other detrimental effects on your health. You do these things without much thought.
IADLs are similar, but they’re more specific. They’re ADLs that require more complex processing and organization.
If you break them down, ADLs consist of these daily activities.
- Chewing and swallowing the foods you eat and using hands or a utensil to get food into the mouth
- Getting dressed in appropriate attire
- Moving around the home, standing up/sitting down, and getting out of bed independently
- Taking a shower, drying off, and grooming oneself
- Using the toilet and cleaning up after
Meanwhile, IADLs cover detailed steps that help you complete the ADLs. It includes all of these tasks.
- Checking accounts, paying bills on time, and depositing money
- Cleaning the home and doing laundry
- Driving the car or arranging transportation services
- Keeping track of items that are needed in the home and buying them
- Managing medications, taking them as directed, and ordering prescription refills
- Planning weekly menus, shopping for groceries, and preparing meals
- Scheduling appointments and getting to them on time
- Using the phone to call others and answering incoming calls
How do you know how well he’s doing? Spend a day with him and don’t jump in to help out. Watch how well he does without prompting or assistance. Take a mental note of the things he cannot do on his own. Those are the areas where he needs a family caregiver or elder care aide.
When Is the Best Time to Arrange Caregiver Services?
Do you know when it’s time to hire elder care aides for your dad? If he has a more challenging time with daily routines, it’s time. If his health has changed and he has a hard time keeping track of what he’s supposed to do to stay healthy, it’s also time to talk to him about having caregivers help.
You might be helping him, but you’re becoming overwhelmed. Don’t ignore your needs for time away. Part-time elder care services help you take breaks when needed.
Elder care services are essential when it comes to aging at home. If your dad has any issues with IADLs and ADLs, it’s time to talk about caregivers. He can live at home without risking his health or safety. Call an elder care agency to get started.