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What are Activities of Daily Living - Part V

How are the ADLs Used in Senior Care?


Together, ADLs and IADLs make up the skills a person generally needs to successfully and safely live independently. Therefore, a person’s ability or inability to perform ADLs and IADLs is used to gauge their need for care and/or occupational or physical therapy. Most healthcare service models use evaluations such as the Katz ADL Index to determine and evaluate their patient’s proficiencies and to then develop appropriate care plans to ensure all care needs are met.


Physical therapists prescribe exercise to help patients gain and/or maintain their independence based on ADL proficiencies. Prescribed exercises are based on an individual’s problematic ADLs. For example, slow walking speed is associated with an increased risk for falls; therefore, exercises are prescribed to impact and improve ambulation (an ADL proficiency) to reduce fall risk.


When completing patient assessments, occupational therapists often assess a patient's proficiency of IADLs. There are twelve types of IADLs that the American Occupational Therapy Association recognizes as necessary to live in co-occupation with others:


- Home establishment and maintenance

- Meal preparation & clean-up

- Care of others - Communication management (phone & computer)

- Financial management - Management of health and related issues

- Shopping - Maintaining and observing religious practices

- Child rearing

- Community mobility

- Pet care

- Safety procedures and emergency responses.


Difficulties performing IADLs may signal early dementia and Alzheimer's. Evaluations of IADLs are used to make a diagnostic evaluation and influence decisions on the type of care an older adult may require. Contact us today to discuss your possible care needs. Source: SeniorLiving org #indigonursing #eldercare #seniorcare #ADLs #elderly #seniors #homecare #careathome #activitiesofdailyliving #dementia #alzheimers #parkinsons #homeinstead #rightathome #caregiver #nursing

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