Activities of Daily Living for Seniors

What Are ADLs?

If you’re looking into any form of care for your senior loved one, you’ve probably heard the term “ADLs.” ADL is an abbreviation for “activities of daily living,” which healthcare providers use to describe the components of daily self-care or assistive care. These activities are essential for maintaining an individual’s physical and mental health, but effectively completing ADLs can make it easier for a person to keep his or her independence.

How Do ADLs Apply to Seniors?

The ability or inability to complete activities of daily living serves as a major element that healthcare workers use to determine the sort of care a senior might need. When taking in a new patient or client, these providers go through an assessment process so that they’re aware of how well the individual is able to take care of himself or herself.

Here are a few of the main segments of ADL assessment that caregivers examine.

  • Money management
  • Home maintenance
  • Meal preparation
  • Providing care for others
  • Communication
  • Safety procedures
  • Community mobility
  • Participating in religious practices
  • Management of one’s health
  • Shopping for oneself

Examples of ADL Assistance

When a senior has shown that he or she struggles when it comes to completing ADLs, a caregiver typically steps in to provide assistance with self-care practices.

Services that caregivers might provide for seniors who can’t complete ADLs alone may include (but are not limited to):

  • Help making phone calls or using a computer
  • Medication management
  • Meal preparation & cleanup
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Financial management
  • Transportation
  • Bathing & other hygiene needs

As we age, it can become harder to do things that were once easy for us. It’s not an abnormal part of aging, so if your loved one is starting to have a hard time with self-care, help is available. If you’re seeking assisted living options, ask representatives about the ADL offerings the staff is capable of providing. This way, you can be sure your loved one has help whenever they need it.