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What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and why do they matter?

March 21, 2023

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As we age, simple tasks like maintaining our living space, cooking, and personal hygiene can become more challenging. If you've noticed a loved one struggling with these daily activities, it might indicate a need for changed care. Understanding Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is crucial.

ADLs are essential tasks individuals usually perform independently for their well-being. Aging and health issues can make these tasks harder for seniors. Studies show individuals aged 85 and above often need help with these basic daily living activities. The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living outlines six main ADLs:

1. Bathing and Showering: Includes maintaining personal hygiene, like brushing teeth and nail care.

2. Continence: Refers to managing bladder and bowel functions.

3. Dressing: Involves choosing appropriate clothes and getting dressed.

4. Mobility: Relates to moving from one place to another, like getting in and out of chairs.

5. Feeding (excluding meal prep): Involves eating, chewing, and swallowing.

6. Toileting: Encompasses using the toilet and personal hygiene.

Recognizing the importance of ADLs is crucial for caregivers. Monitoring changes helps caregivers gauge overall health, spotting signs of decline or improvement. Understanding ADL shifts helps determine needed care levels and appropriate support.

Since changes usually happen slowly, staying attentive and adapting is vital. If a loved one struggles with basic ADLs, seeking help from senior living communities like Prema at Ashton Hills an assisted living and memory care community in Covington, Georgia, can provide necessary assistance. These services help seniors maintain their quality of life by aiding tasks that have become challenging due to aging and health concerns.