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Use IADL and ADL Checklists to Decide if It’s Time for Caregivers

When you're looking into senior care benefits, expect to see the terms ADL and IADL. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are the things your parents must be able to do to survive.
24-Hour Home Care in Daly City CA: ADL's IADL's
24-Hour Home Care in Daly City CA: ADL's IADL's

They’re essential functions of living. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are a little more complex and not as essential as ADLs. Despite not being crucial to living, they’re still an important aspect of daily life. The reason you encounter these terms is due to their importance in self-care and household management. If your mom or dad is struggling with ADLs, 24-Hour Home Care services are essential. If they’re having a more challenging time with IADLs, a mix of home care and help from family members is worth discussing.


An ADL Checklist

ADLs include fundamental human functions. It includes knowing when you need to go to the bathroom and getting to a toilet. After using the toilet, ADLs include wiping, washing hands, and getting clothing back in place.

A second ADL is the ability to pick up a spoon or fork and feed yourself. You need to be able to chew foods, swallow, and take a drink when needed. You have to be able to cut food items into bite-sized pieces.

Getting dressed is another ADL. If your mom has Alzheimer’s and believes that a flannel shirt, jeans, and heavy socks are good choices on a hot summer’s day, she’s struggling with dressing.

Mobility is important. Your mom and dad should be able to get out of bed or stand up after sitting and walk from one room to the next. They should be able to walk up and down the stairs.

The final ADL is showering and grooming. Your dad needs to know how to turn the shower on, get in and wash his body and hair, and rinse off thoroughly. After the shower or bath, he needs to remember to dry off before he gets dressed. He should be able to shave, comb or brush his hair, and trim his finger and toenails.

An IADL Checklist

IADLs branch off from the ADLs. Your mom and d9ad need to be able to eat a meal. An IADL covers cooking that meal, shopping for groceries, and properly storing the items they purchase.

Managing their finances is a critical IADL. Your parents should be able to pay bills on time, deposit checks, move money from one account to another, and make sure checks or automatic payments don’t bounce.

Keeping track of appointments and scheduling them with doctors is also important. Your mom goes to the doctor and is given a prescription for a medication. She needs to remember to take it on time and as directed. She also needs to know how to order refills and make sure she doesn’t run out.

Finally, your parents should drive or know-how to arrange rides if driving is no longer advised. If they cannot manage their transportation needs, they can’t do important things like see their doctor, go for a dental check-up, shop for necessities, and visit friends.

If your parents struggle with several IADLs or can’t manage ADLs without help, it’s time to arrange senior care. You can help out, too, but let senior care aides assist your parents and ensure you take breaks when you need them.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring 24-Hour Home Care in Daly City CA, contact the friendly staff at Home Care Professionals today. Call (866)-940-4855

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