What are ADLs and IADLs, and why are they important? | Tampa Elder Law Attorney 

As we get older, things that we did so effortlessly all our lives gradually, or suddenly, become more difficult. In the elder healthcare industry, seniors are evaluated on their ability to handle the “activities of daily living,” or ADLs, and “instrumental activities of daily living,” or IADLs. A Tampa Elder Law Attorney can help with recognizing what these mean for the care of you or your loved one. Let’s look at the differences and why they are important.

ADLs

These are the most basic tasks of living that we learn at a young age. 

Ambulating: A fancy word for walking. This is your ability to get around inside your residence and outside the residence.

Dressing: Your ability to choose clothes, put them on (buttons, zippers, etc.) and your overall ability to groom and manage your appearance.

Eating: Your ability to get food to your mouth from a plate or bowl. 

Bathing: Your ability to wash yourself either in a bath or shower. 

Toileting: Your ability to properly use the toilet, including cleaning up on your own.

Transferring: Your ability to maneuver your body from one position to another. For example, getting up from a chair and using a walker, going from bed to wheelchair or the like.

IADLs

Shopping: Includes your ability to go to the store and choose necessary items for your everyday needs.

Meal preparation: Your ability to obtain ingredients and cook meals.

Housekeeping: Keeping your home maintained properly, clean and reasonably organized.

Managing money: Paying bills and your ability to manage your financial accounts.

Transportation: Your ability to drive or obtain other methods of travel, such as taxis, buses, or rides from neighbors or family.

Managing medicine: Properly taking your medications as prescribed.

Communication: Your ability to use the phone, mail or computer.

Why they are important

ADLs and IADLs are a way to measure your independence, or your need for the assistance of another person. The more ADLs and IADLs that you need help with, the higher the cost of care will be if you are using in-home care or move into an assisted living facility. As part of the eligibility requirements for government benefit programs, such as VA Aid and Attendance or Medicaid, you must need assistance with at least two ADLs. Your doctor or an evaluation may be necessary to determine your level of care.

 If you have more questions about your eligibility for these programs, contact a Tampa Elder Law Attorney at  Mortellaro Law and schedule a free one-hour initial consultation.