Geriatricians, social workers and care managers often use two scales to measure a person’s need for assistance. These are referred to as the activities of daily living (ADLs) and the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). The activities of daily living are basic, routine tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating and using the toilet that most people are able to perform on a daily basis without assistance. The instrumental activities of daily living are more complex tasks that require a certain amount of physical dexterity, sound judgment and organizational skills. A senior’s ability (or inability) to adequately perform both groups of activities is usually reflective of that person’s ability to live safely and independently.
You can use this informal assessment form to help determine your or a loved one’s current level of needed care. Whether the individual is able to perform all of the activities of daily living independently, needs help with just a few or with most of them, the assessment will help family, caregivers or medical professionals tailor a care plan to meet those needs. Periodic assessments over time can be equally valuable by showing patterns, predicting future needs and measuring either progress or decline.
Read Assisted Living 101 to learn about what you should look for when choosing an assisted living community.