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A Beginner's Guide to ADLs and IADLs


What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?

Activities of daily living or ADLs are essential life tasks that every person needs to be able to do on their own to live independently. Instrumental activities of daily living skills, IADLs, are more complex and involve thinking and organizational competency. When a person has difficulties with ADLs and IADLS, it can correspond to how much support and hands-on care your loved one might need. This can help determine whether you may need to start looking for a caring community or help support their daily needs.

The simple self-care tasks that we learn as children are referred to as ADLs. These can include:
  • Dressing; selecting clothes to wear and being able to put them on/take them off, etc.
  • Mobility; being able to maneuver around the home, get in and out of bed, get up from a chair or sit down, or take a walk outside.
  • Eating; preparing and swallowing food and the ability to get the food from the plate into one's mouth.
  • Bathing and grooming; managing one's appearance, washing his or her face and body in the bath or shower, and maintaining dental, hair, and nail hygiene.
The more complex activities and skills required for independent living, IADLs, may include:
  • Cleaning and housekeeping, including home maintenance and chores.
  • Managing money and finances.
  • Managing medications by taking proper medications on time and as directed.
  • Shopping for groceries and other needed items.
  • Transportation from one place to another and being able to make it back home from a trip.
  • Effectively using communication devices, including computers or telephones.
A person needs to have the ability to perform ADL and IADL tasks by themselves to be able to live independently. This checklist can give you an idea of how much care your loved one might require. These tasks represent everyday activities that challenge both mental and physical capabilities.

Here at Evergreen Place Assisted Living and Evergreen Village Supportive Living, we provide the resources our seniors need to live happy and healthy lives. Our professional caregivers provide support for your loved ones around-the-clock. To learn more about our communities, give us a call! Contact Evergreen Place at (309) 451-9355 or Evergreen Village at (309) 452-7300, or take a virtual tour of our campuses!
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