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Activities of Daily Living – Checklist, Definitions and Importance - Paying For Senior Care

Activities of Daily Living – Checklist, Definitions and Importance - Paying For Senior Care

What are the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?

The Activities of Daily Living are a series of basic activities performed by individuals on a daily basis necessary for independent living at home or in the community.  There are many variations on the definition of the activities of daily living but most organizations agree there are 5 basic categories.

1. Personal hygiene such bathing, grooming and oral care
2. Dressing including the ability to make appropriate clothing decisions
3. Eating, the ability to feed oneself though not necessarily prepare food
4. Maintaining continence or the ability to use a restroom
5. Transferring oneself from seated to standing and get in and out of bed

Whether or not an individual is capable of performing these activities on their own or if they rely on a family caregiver to perform the ADLs serves a comparative measure of their independence. 
What are the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?
IADLs are actions that are important to being able to live independently but are not necessarily required activities on a daily basis.  The instrumental activities are more subtle and can help more finely determine the level of assistance required by the elderly or disabled.  The IADLs include:

1. Basic communication such as using a telephone
2. Transportation, either by driving, arranging rides or the ability to use public transportation
3. Meal preparation and the ability to safely use kitchen equipment
4. Shopping and the ability to make appropriate food and clothing purchase decisions
5. Housework such as doing laundry and cleaning dishes
6. Managing medications such as taking accurate dosages at appropriate times and managing re-fills
7. Managing personal finances, operating within a budget, writing checks and paying bills
 The American Elder Care Research Organization
736 Cole Street
San Francisco, California 94117
Telephone: 641-715-3900 Ext. 606151#

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