Activities of Daily Living are the most essential routine task performed by any individual to have a healthy life. If failing to do so will result in getting assistance towards it. After a certain age, elderly personnel requires a certain amount of assistance in their daily work as they lose their ability to do things. It can be a moderate to a very high level of assistance. Measurement of an individual’s ADL is important as these are pointers of admission to nursing homes, need for alternative living arrangements, hospitalization, and use of home care.
Nurses and the family members are the few of the people who discover the need of help in activities of daily living. Suitably surveying, arranging, interceding, and assessing ADLs and IADLs can mean the difference between independent aging and needing daily assistance. So, these activities of daily living are categorized into two types that are :-
- Basic ADL’s
- Instrumental ADL’s
What are a Basic Activities of Daily Living?
As the name suggests, basic ADL’s consist of all the basic day-to-day activities which are required to be done by an individual. So, the basic skills are:
- Personal Hygiene- Over here the ability to bathe and groom oneself is there. As personal hygiene is the very basic need that has to be maintained.
- Dressing- The understanding to dress oneself appropriately. It also includes that we make appropriate choices in dressing. The inability to dress can lead to poor quality of life.
- Feeding Oneself- Capacity of eating one’s food. It includes having the food without any help in feeding, it may not include cooking.
- Restroom- Having the ability to use the washroom and to clean oneself up tidily. Also, to maintain the hygiene in the restroom.
The level of one’s independence includes the capability of doing their work by themselves or by help of others.
What are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living?
In Instrumental ADL’s the person needs some complex thinking skills as well as some organizational skills. So, the Instrumental skills are:
- Communicating- To travel to any destination, a person requires to know how to drive or to know how to reach there with getting any help. These also includes the ability to walk by themselves without any help or support.
- Meal Preparation- Everybody needs a meal on daily basis. So, it is necessary to prepare it for oneself or make certain arrangements to get it from others.
- House Cleaning- Cleaning the kitchens, and the rooms of the home is very necessary. Tidings things up is the most essential thing. Doing the laundry and the dishes and to maintain it.
- Managing Finances- This includes the ability to run track on the finances and to maintain it. To look upon to paying cheques and clearing all the bills.
- Medication- Having the capability of taking medicines as directed. Also, to refill the emptied dozes and to procure them again.
Technologies That Help with Specific Activities of Daily Living
Technological advancements have made it easier for adults to perform specific activities of daily living. These technologies help the elderly person to effortlessly do their routine work, just as lessening the measure of time it takes to finish them. This help can permit them to keep up with their freedom. Assistive technology includes:
- Shower Chairs
- Wheel Chairs
- Toilet Seat Risers
- Mobile Stairlift
How growing age and health conditions affect one’s Activities of Daily Living?
As we grow and approach towards elderly age, we lose our capability of doing certain things. Health conditions that affect our nervous system, sensory system, and circulatory system can affect an individual’s ability to perform ADLs.
We often see that people want to be independent so they avoid talking about it. And they are also shy admitting about their inability to do things. They fear about the fact that they will have to live their loved ones and their comfort zone. If we don’t recognize these problems at an early stage then it will contribute to more harsh problems.
How dementia affects Activities of daily living?
As dementia, grows in the elderly person the Instrumental ADL’s grows and they face problems in the same. Like the inability to cook or to take medicines or to remember the routes to travel to any specific destination. As in dementia the elderly person loses the ability to think and take certain decisions with one’s mental understanding.
Depending on the level and severity of dementia, the degree of assistance changes. Like if the dementia case is severe then the level of safety assistance increases. And the family members are more concerned about the elders. For that, they arrange a caregiver for them. Which makes the life easy of the elderly person. They also sometimes enroll them into assisted living facilities. Over there they have a safe environment to live in.
If the person is given a caregiver then it must be seen that the caregiver is well trained and they have all the facilities at home. Like bed alarms, written notes around them. Helping them to function with ease. Their clothes must be made of elastic so it is convenient for them to dress by themselves. A schedule must be set so that they have their routine organized. Caregivers, should settle on troublesome choices to forestall injury and to give a protected climate.
Physiotherapy and Activities of Daily Living
Physiotherapists assess peoples with their ADL’s and IADL’s, it helps the older person to understand their problems. All the problems that are related to ADL’s and IADL’s are mainly of physical or cognitive health. So, if we can diagnose those problems then with the help of physiotherapy, we can make the elders a little independent.
Physiotherapists assist individuals with performing ADLs through practice treatment and further developing strength and joint portability. Improving speed, grip strength, pain reduction, improved balance all improve an individual’s ability to perform ADLs. A physiotherapist’s main role is to look upon the exercise routine and to have a check on patient, whether is he/she training properly.