When you choose a retirement community, many factors are at play for consideration. For someone who needs some assistance with household or personal care tasks, finding a community that provides that support is critical. One way you can determine what type of support you might need, either now or in the future, is to understand what activities of daily living are and what type of community will offer assistance with those tasks.
What Are Activities of Daily Living?
Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, are tasks that we all do daily to take care of ourselves and our bodies. There are basic activities of daily living that include bathing, dressing and grooming, toileting, transferring and eating. Mobility, or getting from one place to another, is also considered a basic ADL.
There are also instrumental activities of daily living, or IADLs. These are more complex tasks that center around problem-solving, organization and critical thinking. IADLs can include driving or managing transportation, managing finances, meal preparation, household tasks and maintenance, and managing medication schedules.
Adults might have difficulties with one or more ADLs but still be able to complete all IADLs on their own.
Why Do Activities of Daily Living Matter?
Activities of daily living are one way that assisted living, memory care and healthcare communities assess the needs of potential residents. Knowing how much assistance a potential resident needs with ADLs, and how many ADLs they need support with, can give a retirement community a good idea of if the person will be a good fit for the community.
Adults can also use their ADL needs to narrow down their retirement community search or to look for additional assistance to bring into their retirement community home. For example, most independent living communities do not offer any assistance with ADLs. This means that residents who live there must independently take care of their own ADLs. If they do need some assistance, they would need to pay for that service to be brought into the home, typically by a caregiver service. On the other hand, assisted living communities offer assistance with ADL care. These communities typically serve residents who need some type of support with at least one ADL task. When it comes to memory care communities, residents need assistance with IADLs as well as ADLs.
Finally, ADLs are sometimes used in insurance or billing. Insurance companies as well as federal programs like Veterans Aid & Attendance, use ADLs as a way of determining how much money can be used to offset costs of care.
How Do I Know How Much ADL Assistance I Need?
If you aren’t sure how much assistance you or your loved one need with activities of daily living, speak about it with a physician. They might refer you to an occupational therapist for an assessment or be able to give you their recommendation based on their knowledge of your current and future prognosis.
If you’re looking for a retirement community in Shreveport, Louisiana, stop by The Glen today and we’ll be happy to demonstrate how our community can be perfect for older adults with a diverse range of needs.