Understanding IADLS vs. ADLS

Elderly man being given daily medicine

Understanding IADLS vs. ADLS

In a medical field that’s filled with acronyms and terms used among professionals, it’s no surprise that new ones crop up regularly. The most recent acronym is IADLs and ADLs, which are both terms that can be confusing or mistaken for the other.

This article will explore the differences between these two acronyms and their means of helping elderly adults and the disabled.

What are IADLs?

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLS) are activities we perform in our everyday life that requires more complex thinking skills.

The majority of these instrumental activities involve devices that help with more complicated tasks such as 

  • Cooking/cleaning- activities that involve the use of a stove, dishwasher, or vacuum cleaner
  • Transportation- getting to and from destinations by car, bus
  • Managing finances- managing one’s finances, with or without the assistance of a bank
  • Communicating- expressing oneself in an intelligible manner to others by using speech and gestures.
  • Shopping- going to a store or mall and buying things
  • Arranging for services- setting an appointment with someone such as the doctor, plumber,
  • Preparing meals- preparing a meal by following a recipe or instructions.
  • Technology assistance- using a telephone, computer, or another communication device.
  • Managing medications- managing one’s medications, with or without the assistance of a pharmacist.
  • Doing laundry/housework- performing routine household tasks such as doing laundry or cleaning the house.
  • Basic home maintenance- performing routine tasks around the house, such as basic home maintenance.

These tasks become challenging for the elderly, disabled, or persons recovering from medical events such as surgery. Difficulty managing these tasks is also common in patients with early stages of dementia.

What are ADLs?

Activities of daily living (ADLs) include tasks one does regularly to maintain their health and well-being. Helping with ADLs requires a more hands-on approach because they typically involve assisting someone with activities that they may not have the ability to do themselves.

They’re those activities we do every day, and when we’re capable of doing them, we don’t give them much thought.

ADLs include:

  • Walking- any form of locomotion (also called ambulating)
  • Eating- consuming food or drink
  • Feeding oneself- taking in sustenance to ease hunger and maintain health, strength, and vitality
  • Toilet use- performing a bodily function transfers
  • Clothing selection – selecting what articles of clothing are appropriate for different occasions.
  • Getting in and up from a chair- lowering oneself into or rising from a sitting position
  • Lying down- assuming the posture in which one sleeps and rests.

There is a wide range of assistance requirements for ADLs. Ranging from a simple reminder all the way down to a total dependency, which means that someone else must assist with all the tasks.

Why ADLs and IADLs matter

You can better understand the reasons behind your loved one’s care plan when you understand the differences between IADLs and ADLs. Care plans are created from assessments of which IADLs and ADLs your loved one will need assistance with.

Next, Caregivers are assigned according to IADLs/ADLs and their level of expertise to ensure your loved one is properly cared for.

The primary concern with the initial assessment is identifying functional difficulties to help your loved one overcome or compensate for them. 

Keeping an elder’s independence even after losing some physical capability is essential for ensuring that they can continue to live the life they want. It may be difficult, but getting outside help can sometimes make all the difference in ADLs and IADLs.”

If you or a loved one requires help around the home with IADLs or ADLs, contact us for a free home care assessment. Linda’s Care home care offers a variety of home care plans to service each individual’s needs.

Receiving ADLs and IADLs in an assisted living community VS through a home caregiver

Receiving ADLs and IADLs in an assisted living community differs from a home caregiver’s visiting the home of a loved one. Assisted living communities have caretakers on-site round the clock so, it’s easy to provide ADLs and IADLs. But, the downside with assisted living facilities is that most of the ADLs and IADLs are scheduled, i.e., a time to eat lunch, exercise, and rest time.

On the other hand, Home caregivers who visit a loved one’s home are always available and able to carry out ADLs and IADLs as needed (without a specific time or schedule)—giving your loved ones more freedom and quality of daily living.

Improving the quality of daily living

For the elderly and disabled, ADLs and IADLs are crucial for maintaining their quality of daily living. Having to rely on others to complete ADLs and IADLs can be difficult because it makes one feel they have less control over their lives.

The goal of ADLs and IADLs is to help maintain independent functioning for as long as possible. Your home care agency must incorporate a comprehensive care plan that includes individual goals, needs, preferences, strengths, and limitations.

This comprehensive care plan is used by caregivers to successfully provide appropriate support to carry out caring for your loved one.

Pricing differences with IADLs Vs. ADLs

As discussed above, there are different tasks required when caring for ADLs and IADLs.

ADLs tasks are often more routine, but they require greater physical strength to complete the job. IADLs, on the other hand, typically don’t involve much physical effort for a caregiver, so it’s easier.

So, of course, there will be a price difference between ADLs and IADLs services.

The price for home care services mostly depends on your loved one’s needs, what help is required around their home, and or the duration of the care. 

For example, Most home care agencies charge a higher rate for adls than iadls because it requires more labor.

Most home care agencies have care bundles for both IADLs and ADLs. We wrote an article on in-home care for the elderly cost to help get a better understanding of home care pricing from state to state.

Conclusion: There are many ways to provide assisted living services. Whether you receive ADLs and IADLs in an assisted living community or through a home caregiver, it’s essential for everyone involved to know what struggles a loved one faces daily.

Receiving and deciding which ADLs and IADLs your loved one requires might be one of the most important decisions you will make in choosing a caregiver for your loved one. While both options can assist with daily tasks, you should know that they are not created equal.

If you or a loved one requires assistance around the home with IADLs or ADLs, contact us for a free home care assessment. Lindas Care home care offers a variety of home care bundles to service each individual’s needs.


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