Activities of Daily Life

Activities of Daily Life (ADL), are responsibilities performed by a person daily that is vital to a persons’ living.

Here are the 5 ADLs:

  1. Eating: feeding and preparing food
  2. Bathing: grooming and personal hygiene
  3. Transferring: mobility and movement
  4. Dressing: undressing and dressing
  5. Toileting: continence-related tasks which includes hygiene and control

In general, about 20% of people in assisted living need help with at least 1 of the ADL’s mentioned above, while about 30% need help with four or five of the ADL’s mentioned. The most common ADL required first is bathing and soon after that is dressing. Many individuals retain the skill to feed themselves longer without help, it’s typically the last thing a person loses the ability to do on their own.

An assisted living facility is not the same as a nursing facility. People who live in an assisted facility may need assistance in 1 or more ADL’s. Those who reside in a nursing home, need added care often linked to medical concerns rather than the failure to perform tasks.

An additional term you might hear is IADLs. This represents “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living”. It includes the inability and ability of an individual to perform complex tasks such as shopping, phoning, driving, money management, housekeeping and food preparation.

Though a person gets meal preparation and housekeeping at an assisted living facility, it doesn’t mean the person is unable to do those tasks. These services are included at these facilities and are offered to all. If a person has the capability to cook, then they should be able to acquire a room that is equipped with a kitchen in it.

Oversight and Supervision of people with cognitive incapacities and other special needs are a part of the numerous care services offered at assisted living communities. Such supervision is typically offered to those joining an assisted living community, subject to the extent of the mental and physical impairment of the resident. Many assisted living facilities operate under the idea of "aging in place" whereby the residents are permitted to stay at the house for as long as their mental and physical impairments are not excesive and can be maintained, supervised and taken care of by the staff at the facility or through other contracted services. Residents of assisted living facilities sometimes require assistance with cognitive or physical deficiencies other than those involved with Activities of Daily Life [ADLs]. Some assisted living facilities focus in one or more of these demanding areas, such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Assisted living facilities work to help improve an individuals’ stay and to extend their stay for as long as conceivable before transferring them to a nursing home. This includes in house short term nursing, assistance with medication and other responsibilities that don’t need a medical team to be on grounds 24/7.

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