ADLs: The Activities of Daily Living & Why You Need to Know for In-Home Care
We often take the tasks that we perform throughout the day for granted when we are still young and healthy. However, as we age, we start struggling with what used to be simple and seemingly automated tasks. This can be especially problematic when living alone.
Called activities of daily living, these are the vital tasks that you must perform in order to get through the day. These tasks are so essential they are used by the insurance company to determine whether you qualify for some long-term coverages. These functions run right from what you do from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, from personal hygiene to putting your clothes into the washing machine.
There are two types of activities of daily living that can be conducted on a regular basis. These include basic activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living.
Basic Activities of Daily Living
Basic Activities of Daily Living (BADLs) are the simple tasks that you have performed most of your life. We have performed these actions since we were kids and they seem to be so easy, yet they are so vital to our daily living. These include:
If you have a loved one who cannot perform one of more of these, they will qualify for some sort of long-term in-home care. The good thing about these tasks is that they can be assisted with in the home. Some people argue that institutionalized care is the best, but the truth is that the care provided in a hospital setting can become expensive. You can receive these services in an environment that has all the comforts that home and family brings with an in home care specialist.
As you can see, these are among the most important of all senior home care concerns.
As you age, your bodily abilities change. You also experience several conditions that might make you unable to perform these BADLs such as arthritis, affecting an average of 6 out of 10 seniors. Arthritis is a condition that deteriorates the five senses and affects the performance of the basic activities of daily living.
The ability to perform these activities is measured by our capacity to perform them on four scales: Always, Frequently, Sometimes, and Never. If your loved one lives alone, it will be a significant challenge. However, the resolution lies with you and your family, friends, neighbors and/or care providers.
Taking action to acquire the necessary equipment that will make performance of these activities manageable is most of the time necessary. Assistive devices can include medicine boxes, toilet seat lifter, toilet chairs and hearing aids. There are also clothes available that don’t require fasteners and assistive chairs for those who have trouble climbing stairs.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are any actions that you perform on daily basis that require the use of an instrument. You usually learn these skills during the teenage years, and understanding these type of activities can form the difference between independent living and assisted living.
Let us look at some of these activities and where the instruments come in:
• Transportation – understanding the many types of transportation and using them correctly.
• Shopping – managing the way to a given store and navigating the shelves while using a cart. Knowing how to pick the items that you need, and then checking them out at the register.
• Laundry – this involves sorting the clothes and the washing machine or the dryer.
• Telephone calls – using a telephone as you age becomes hard largely because of your diminishing eyesight. Using the phone the right way requires that you take time and understand the device. An assistive device in this case is getting a phone with a bigger screen.
• Meal preparation – the correct way to use a stove, oven, microwave and other meal preparation equipment.
• Handling finances – involves coming up with a budget, handling your finances, using your credit cards, handling cash, scheduling, and paying bills.
• House-keeping – using various equipment to clean your house including the vacuum cleaner.
• Safe administration of medication – knowing how to use a medicine bottle and medicine box.
In-home care is an ideal solution when loved ones begin to struggle with instrumental activities of daily living. In-home care providers are non-medical caregivers; they can help with these instrumental activities and tasks – making life easier and much more enjoyable.
The advance of age combined with various health conditions can lead to the inability of seniors to accomplish of the activities of daily living, both basic and instrumental, leaving them with a feeling of helplessness and frustration. Realizing that your loved one might not want to ask for help, it is important to find a way to do so tactfully and compassionately. Identifying and providing the necessary assistance earlier on can ensure that things will be much easier later in life.
In-home care can drastically improve the safety and feeling of independence of your senior loved one in a familiar and comfortable environment, while providing you with peace of mind and the assistance you need to properly care for them and them for themselves. Contact Royal Home Companion for a consultation with a compassionate in home care specialist today.