ADLs vs IADLs: Why It’s Important to Understand the Difference
As your loved one ages or battles a health condition, they may be unable to perform crucial Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) necessary for safe and independent living. When considering care options, it’s important to understand the distinction between ADLs and IADLs. Knowing what your loved one can and cannot do by themselves will help you determine the appropriate level of care and support they need to stay independent.
What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
ADLs is a vast term that refers to the essential activities or tasks your loved one should be able to complete without help. These activities range from basic everyday tasks such as bathing to more complex activities like managing medications. The inability of your loved one to complete
ADLs could lead to poor quality of life.
ADLs vs IADLs: Are they different?
Yes, they are different. ADLs are classified into two:
- BADLs (Basic Activities of Daily Living) and
- IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living)
So, IADLs are one of the two categories of ADLs, the other being BADLs.
What are BADLs?
Basic Activities of Daily Living are basic, self-care tasks an individual needs to perform daily to cover physical needs. They include:
- Personal hygiene - These are activities for maintaining cleanliness, such as bathing, brushing, hair combing, etc.
- Feeding/eating - Using utensils such as cups, spoons, and plates to consume food and drinks.
- Toileting - Going to the toilet to urinate and defecate. It also involves the ability to complete tasks such as flushing the toilet.
- Dressing - The capability to put on clothes of one’s choosing and complete associated tasks like fastening buttons and tying shoelaces.
- Continence - The ability to hold back bladder and bowel functions.
- Ambulating - Also known as transferring, ambulating refers to moving the body from one position or location to another. Ambulating tasks include walking, pushing a wheelchair, or moving from a bed to a chair.
If your loved one has poor hygiene due to their inability to bathe or brush their teeth without help, has difficulty moving from one place to the other, or cannot hold back urine or perform other essential tasks, they will need help and support.
What are IADLs?
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are more complex tasks requiring higher thinking and organizational skills. Some examples of IADLs are:
- Managing finances - Includes paying bills, managing assets, and budgeting.
- Meal preparation - Such as grocery shopping, planning and cooking meals that meet nutritional requirements.
- House cleaning and maintenance - Keeping the house clean, washing dishes, and doing laundry.
- Managing transportation - Driving from one place to another or arranging for rides.
- Managing medications - Taking the correct dosage of medicine at the right time, as well as knowing when to refill medications.
If your loved one is having trouble shopping and feeding themselves, taking medications as prescribed, paying bills, or performing other IADLs, they will need care and assistance.
Get help finding the right care option for your loved one’s independence and well-being
If your loved one is facing challenges with BADLs or IADLs, it’s crucial to seek professional help. At CarePatrol of the Lehigh Valley and Upper Bucks, we understand how important it is for your loved one to get the care and support they need. We care, and will guide you in choosing the most suitable care option for your loved one at NO COST. Get help today.