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Activity Directors - Why ADLs and IADLs Matter , Your Checklist, Your Obstacles, Your Prep - Activity Director Certification Class NAPT Starts Sept. 1st


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Why ADLs and IADLs Matter
These terms stand for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). They represent key life tasks that people need to manage, in order to live at home and be fully independent. Accurate assessment of the individuals  “ADLs or IADLs” functionality are in great part essential information to planning facility programs that meet the needs of the resident population served.

Difficulties with ADLs and IADLs often correspond to how much help, supervision, and hands-on care an older person needs. This can determine the cost of care and the level of care within a residential living facility. It also determines whether someone is considered “safe” to live at home or even whether a person meets eligibility requirements for certain long-term care services.
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
These are the basic self-care tasks that we initially learn as very young children. They are sometimes referred to as “Basic Activities of Daily Living” (BADLs).
They include:
  • Walking, or otherwise getting around the home or outside. The technical term for this is “ambulating.”
  • Feeding, as in being able to get food from a plate into one’s mouth.
  • Dressing and grooming, as in selecting clothes, putting them on, and adequately managing one’s personal appearance.
  • Toileting, which means getting to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.
  • Bathing, washing one’s face and body in the bath or shower.
  • Transferring, which means being able to move from one body position to another. This includes being able to move from a bed to a chair, or into a wheelchair. This can also include the ability to stand up from a bed or chair in order to grasp a walker or other assistive device.
For each ADL, people can vary from needing just a little help (such as a reminder or stand-by assist*) to full dependency, which requires others to do the task for them.

*Stand-By Assistance refers to the need for someone to assist another individual performing activities that are basic to daily living. Unlike someone who needs continual supervision (i.e. all the time), a person who needs standby assistance has to have a caregiver within arm's reach of the individual at all times to prevent, by physical intervention as necessary, injury to the individual while the individual is performing the activity of daily living (ADL), for example, being ready to catch the individual if the individual falls while getting into or out of the bathtub or shower as part of bathing.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)
These are the self-care tasks we usually learn as teenagers. They require more complex thinking skills, including organizational skills.
They include:
  • Managing finances, such as paying bills and managing financial assets.
  • Managing transportation, either via driving or by organizing other means of transport.
  • Shopping and meal preparation. This covers everything required to get a meal on the table. It also covers shopping for clothing and other items required for daily life.
  • Housecleaning and home maintenance. This means cleaning kitchens after eating, keeping one’s living space reasonably clean and tidy, and keeping up with home maintenance.
  • Managing communication, such as the telephone and mail.
  • Managing medications, which covers obtaining medications and taking them as directed.
Why ADLs and IADLs Matter
Generally, older adults need to be able to manage ADLs and IADLs in order to live independently without the assistance of another person. It’s important to understand ADLs when determining the proper level of care for the individual resident. Some ADLs require minimal care while others, like toileting, require 24/7 care.

Geriatricians assess ADLs and IADLs as part of assessing an older person’s “function.” Problems with ADLs and IADLs usually reflect problems with physical health and/or cognitive health. Identifying functional difficulties can help us diagnose and manage important health problems.

Another crucial role ADLs play is in providing a standard that many insurance companies use to determine the level of coverage to provide. The number of ADLs a senior needs help with, will usually determine whether or not they qualify for assistance in paying for an assisted living home, a nursing home, or in-home care. For many long-term care insurance policies, the inability to perform two ADLs or more is the point where the insurance provider will start paying on the policy.

Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
Workshop Objectives:
  • Upon completion the student will understand the concept of unconditional love between a pet therapy animal and a person.
  • The student will know the different purposes of therapy pets.
  • Upon completion the student will understand the many benefits of pet therapy.
  • The student will read a wide variety of Teacher Tales to illustrate the benefits.
  • The student will be given information on several national pet therapy organizations that they can draw from to get their own pet therapy program started.
Workshop Content:
  • Love—Our Basic Need
  • What is Pet Therapy?
  • Benefits--Importance of Pet Therapy
  • Pet Therapy Visits
  • In-House Therapy Pets
  • Inviting A Team to Your Facility
  • Resources
  • Information and Sample Forms of National Organizations

Now Enrolling for the September 1st class - Visit ActivityDirector.org to enroll. 

114 Graduates this month!     NAAPCC.net   Est. 2011      Members NCCA

Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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