What are the activities of daily living?

Activities of daily living

Let’s face it. Senior care lingo can be confusing. If you are an adult child exploring senior living communities in the Hattiesburg area, you’ve likely come across a few phrases that you weren’t sure the meaning of.

For many families the term activities of daily living is one such term. It’s an important one to understand, too. Retirement and assisted living communities use these activities to determine how much – or how little – support each resident needs to safely maintain their independence.

What are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of Daily Living are commonly referred to as ADLs. These are the tasks most of us learn in childhood. They include but are not limited to:

  • Bathing and showering
  • Grooming needs such as hair and nail care
  • Ability to select clothing for the day and to get dress independently
  • Being able to eat unaided
  • Capability to transfer from a wheelchair to a bed or to the toilet
  • Ability to handle their own incontinence care

There is also another tier of activities older adults often need help performing. These are called the instrumental activities of daily living or IADLs. They are the skills that are needed to safely maintain independence at home. Some examples include:

  • Managing medications
  • Paying bills and balancing a checkbook
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Driving or arranging for alternate transportation
  • Basic housekeeping and home maintenance

How Retirement Communities Support Independence

A retirement community that offers a full continuum of care, like The Claiborne, gives seniors the support they need now and as their needs change in the future. If an aging loved one needs support with meal preparation and transportation, an independent living apartment can offer them the helping hand they need, while still giving them the privacy and active lifestyle most seniors desire. For families, there is peace of mind knowing your senior loved one is safe with help available if needed.

As the need for care increases, so too can support with both ADLs and medical care. Seniors in the Hattiesburg area will find The Claiborne’s assisted living services to be a viable option to the more sterile environment of a nursing home. In addition to 24-hour nursing care, a doctor or physician’s assistant is available on-site. Residents can also choose to employ the services of a home health agency to deliver care in the privacy of their own assisted living apartment.

The Next Step in Finding the Right Senior Living Community

Our best advice as you begin your search for a senior living provider is to spend some quality time with your aging loved one. Try to objectively evaluate which of the ADLs and IADLs listed above they are able to safely manage on their own. Adult children sometimes don’t realize what a struggle many of these activities have become for an aging parent. For many reasons, including not wanting to be a burden to their children, seniors try to go it alone. The first real indication that something is wrong is often a medical crisis such as a fall that leads to a hip fracture or a mix up in managing their medications.

We invite you to set up a time for a personal consultation and tour with one of our team members. They are senior care experts who will be able to answer your senior living questions and concerns.