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What are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living–IADLs for short–are tasks that require thinking and organizational skills. Whereas Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are fundamental in nature (bathing, toileting, etc.) IADLs are somewhat more complex. They include:

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  1. Cleaning and housekeeping — including maintenance and other home-care chores
  2. Doing laundry
  3. Managing money
  4. Managing medications and taking medicines as directed
  5. Preparing meals
  6. Shopping for groceries and other necessities
  7. Transportation, including changing residences and moving
  8. Using communication devices, including the telephone or computer

As we age, it is normal to experience a decline in our physical and cognitive abilities, making tasks of everyday life harder. Sometimes changes occur swiftly, for example after an acute illness. Other times changes happen so slowly that it is difficult to determine when a task became difficult.

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How Are Instrumental ADLs Assessed?

Assistance with Instrumental Activites of Daily Living - Inspired Care Solutions, Boerne Texas

The assessment of an individual’s ability to carry out Instrumental ADLs provides valuable information. The Lawton-Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale is widely used for this purpose. It can serve as a baseline of current abilities and with reassessment, it can indicate a patient’s loss of function or recovery of function over time. The scale can be administered by a nurse or general practitioner, either verbally or in writing. The patient or a family member can answer the questions.

Another method of assessing IADL abilities is through conversation. Doctors or nurses may ask questions such as:

An assessment of Instrumental ADLs shouldn’t be a cause for concern. It’s just the opposite! Identifying where help in the home is needed is the first step toward supporting safe and independent living.

Getting Help With Instrumental ADLs

Assistance with Instrumental Activites of Daily Living - Inspired Care Solutions, Boerne Texas

If an assessment of Instrumental ADLs uncovers needs, some measures can be taken to improve one’s quality of independent living:

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Does a Caregiver Help With Personal Care?

Yes! Our caregivers are trained to help clients with personal hygiene such as bathing and toileting. These types of tasks fall under the category of Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. ADLs are more fundamental in nature than the IADLs listed above. The team of caregivers at Inspired Care Solutions is well-versed in helping clients with both ADLs and IADLs.

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If you live in the Fair Oaks, Boerne or Leon Springs areas and are interested in learning more about in-home caregiving services, please contact the friendly team at Inspired Care Solutions. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and discuss how we can help you or your loved one.

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