Assisted living communities help seniors live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Assisted living can be very beneficial if someone is experiencing dementia, chronic pain, or another health condition. While these communities offer several services, helping a resident with ADLs is among the most common.
In this post, we’ll discuss the meaning of “ADLs” and explain how assisted living can provide help.
What Are ADLs?
ADLs stand for “activities of daily living.” This term refers to certain basic activities we complete daily, such as brushing our teeth and getting dressed. Healthcare professionals assess a person’s ability to complete ADLs to determine if they need assistance with these critical tasks. Completing ADLs is essential for maintaining independence.
Take a look at these common self-care ADLs:
- Personal hygiene, such as brushing teeth, shaving, and taking care of skin and hair
- Mobility, which includes the ability to walk and get in and out of a chair or bed
- Showering and bathing
- Eating and feeding oneself properly
- Dressing, including picking out clothes and putting them on
- Toileting, such as getting on/off the toilet and cleaning oneself
You can think of ALDs as the tasks you complete when you get up in the morning to leave the house.
How ADLs Differ From IADLs
IADLs is short for the “instrumental activities of daily living.” These are also tasks we may complete daily but aren’t essential for basic functioning. However, someone should still be able to handle these tasks to live an independent life.
IADLs include the following activities:
- Talking on the phone
- Managing finances
- Preparing meals
- Shopping for essentials
- Managing medication
- Using a computer
To live independently, being able to perform both ADLs and IADLs is vital.
How Assisted Living Addresses ADLs
If you or someone you know struggles with managing ADLs, assisted living can help. While many people think these communities are just like nursing homes, that isn’t the case at all. Assisted living improves your quality of life, maintains independence, and helps you thrive in your local community.
Before helping patients with their personalized needs, assisted living facilities must determine the level of care necessary for a patient. Healthcare professionals assess these needs by evaluating the ADLs a patient needs help with. Most healthcare facilities use reputable evaluations like the Katz ADL Index, which looks at a patient's strengths to determine the proper, most-effective treatment plan moving forward.
Aside from assisting patients with ADLs, assisted living staff members also help residents make improvements to their everyday lives. For example, if someone has trouble with mobility or getting out of bed, a physical therapist may step in to help.
Benefits of Assisted Living
Assisted living communities are changing the lives of millions. Assisted living can be a step in the right direction if you have trouble with common everyday tasks.
Assisted living can provide the following benefits:
Helps patients become more independent
Assisted living focuses on maintaining independence. While these professionals can help with cleaning, cooking, bathing, and more, the primary goal is to assist the patient with handling these tasks independently. Unless a health condition progresses over time, some patients regain their independence after getting professional help with assisted living.
Keeps seniors safe
When a senior struggles with ADLs, they may be placed in dangerous situations. For example, if someone has trouble getting in and out of the shower, it increases the chance of a life-threatening fall. By joining an assisted living community, a helping hand is always close by. These experts can prevent these situations from happening in the first place and respond quickly in the event of an emergency.
Promotes a healthy life
When seniors live alone, they may struggle to care for themselves properly. In addition, they may experience social isolation, potentially making the problem even worse. And if they struggle with ADLs, it can add more fuel to the fire.
After joining an assisted living community, patients not only receive help with ADLs, but they also get access to a thriving community of like-minded individuals. These benefits can all lead to a healthier, happier life!
Eases stress and discomfort
When patients struggle with ADLs, they may worry and feel overly stressed. This is especially true when patients live alone.
Assisted living communities are full of skilled professionals who deeply care about your needs. They not only help with ADLs and basic needs, but they can also find ways to improve comfort and reduce stress!
If you or someone you know struggles with ADLs, reaching out to an assisted living community can be a great solution. Take our short lifestyle assessment to see if assisted living may be right for you or a loved one: