Accessibility, Elder Care Management, Life Care Plan

What Is the Significance of ADls and IADls?

 September 22, 2020

By  Deborah L Weiner Katz, OTR/L, CCM, CLCP

Care managers already know it is the ‘who’ we are caring for that matters most. It is ‘what’ we care for that defines our occupation. In other words, what are the basic activities of daily living performed by an individual that are necessary for living at home or in the community?

There are those that are performed on a daily basis. These are known as the Activities of Daily Living(ADLs). Those that are not necessarily required on a daily basis are referred to as the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). A person’s ability to perform the activities on the first list determines their level of independence and how much assistance they require.  The second list helps to determine that level of assistance with greater detail.

The Activities of Daily Living

The definition of each individual activity may differ. However, most organizations agree on these 5 basic categories:

  • Personal hygiene – Bathing/showering, grooming, nail care and oral care.
  • Dressing – Making appropriate clothing decisions; Dressing and undressing.
  • Eating – Feeding oneself but not necessarily preparing food.
  • Maintaining continence – The mental and physical capacity to use a restroom; Getting on and off the toilet, cleaning oneself.
  • Transferring/Mobility – Moving from seated position to standing, getting in and out of bed, and walking independently from one location to another.

The Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

These activities are not as noticeable when it comes to loss of functioning. However, they tend to diminish or disappear before ADLs.

  • Basic communication skills – Using a regular phone, mobile phone, email, or the Internet.
  • Transportation – Driving, arranging rides or using public transportation.
  • Meal preparation – Planning meals, cooking, cleaning up, storage and safely using kitchen equipment and utensils.
  • Shopping – Making appropriate food and clothing purchase decisions.
  • Housework – Doing laundry, washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, and maintaining a hygienic place of residence.
  • Medication – Taking accurate dosages at appropriate times, managing re-fills, and avoiding conflicts.
  • Personal finances – Managing a budget, writing checks, paying bills, etc.

The Significance of ADLs and IADLs

The inability to perform a certain number of activities is how many eldercare financial assistance programs determine eligibility.

Why are the ADLs and IADLs Important?

An individual’s ability to perform them is basically a metric for a variety of services and programs related to caring for the elderly and for those with disabilities. Many eldercare financial assistance programs use the inability to perform a specific number of the activities of daily living as eligibility criteria. Participation in state-funded, non-Medicaid programs depends on the ability perform certain activities. Eligibility for nursing home care is partially based on how much assistance one requires with ADLs, as well as what Medicare will pay for. Even long-term care insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance will pay based on an inability to perform ADLs.

The AdvancedRM Advantage

Our case managers work with elders and their family members to ensure the best possible care is being provided, seniors are safe and independent, and their health and well being are monitored.

Elder Care Management
Our case managers coordinate communication with all payer sources to facilitate reimbursement from all available avenues. Identification of community resources and assistance is pursued and every effort is made to obtain cost effective quality care to meet your loved one’s needs.

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