2 Abbreviations You Should Understand to Help Determine Care Services in IL

Leave it to the healthcare industry to come up with yet another few acronyms to add to their extensive list – ADLs and IADLs. These are common terms in the healthcare field used to outline the everyday self-care tasks that a person engages in on a regular basis to stay independent and well. It is also common for these acronyms to arise in discussions if you are looking for non medical home care options for a senior loved one, or if you are researching the cost of long-term senior care for yourself or someone you know.

If you work in the health care industry, you are likely very acquainted with what these terms mean and why they are important. But many family members of older individuals don’t work in the health care arena, and could really use a helpful explanation of what these terms mean and why they matter so much. So just what are ADLs and IADLs and why should you give thought to them?

The acronym ADL refers to “Activities of Daily Living.” These are everyday personal care activities that are fundamental to caring for oneself and maintaining independence. ADLs can include things like:

Taking a bath or shower

  • Getting dressed in the morning and undressed at night before bed
  • Being able to feed one’s self, as well as chew and swallow without assistance
  • Moving around from one place to another within the environment
  • Maintaining personal hygiene such as oral care and hair care
  • Going to the bathroom by one’s self and cleaning up afterward

IADL refers to “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.” These are activities related to independent living and are valuable for assessing individuals with early-stage disease, both to determine the level of disease and to determine the person’s ability to care for himself or herself. IADLs can encompass things such as:

  • Ability to do household chores and laundry
  • Ability to take medications as they are prescribed
  • If one is able to manage one’s finances
  • If one can shop independently for food or other necessities
  • Ability to use the phone or other methods of communication
  • If one is able to use transportation to get around one’s community

Taking a look at a person’s ADLs and IADLs is one of the initial steps when creating an in-home care plan or identifying an appropriate referral for care. A person’s ADL and IADL assistance levels will help determine the amount and type of home care that are most appropriate for that individual.

At Home & Hearth Caregivers, we are committed to supporting the independence and dignity of every individual we serve through assistance with ADLs and IADLs. If you would like additional help in identifying the appropriate care service needs of a loved one, or for a comprehensive in home consultation by a qualified professional, please contact us today. We’re here to help with senior care in Chicago, IL!

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6432 Joliet Road
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