Understanding Assisted Living Care Terms:ADLs vs. iADLs

If you’re searching for senior living or assisted living for yourself or a family member, you’ll hear a lot about activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs). These tasks are essential to everyday life, but both vary widely. Learn more about these tasks, and their differences, below.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

What are ADLs?

Those in independent living or assisted living may need support with basic daily tasks from time to time. These are referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs).

What do ADLs include?

These tasks include those we learn from an early age, including:

  • Eating
  • Bathing and brushing teeth
  • Dressing
  • Managing personal hygiene and grooming
  • Using the restroom
  • Mobility

When is this form of support needed?

Often those who need support with ADLs are still able to remain independent or may need some assisted living support. Support may also be needed as seniors rehabilitate after illness or injury.

Who helps with these skills?

Depending on a senior’s needs, family members may step in to help for the time being. They may also receive support within a senior living community while in independent living or assisted living.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (iADLs)

What are iADLs?

As older adults age, they need more support with instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs), as they are more complex than ADLs.

What do iADLs include?

These tasks are learned as we age and consist of the following:

  • Housework like laundry and cleaning
  • Managing finances
  • Transportation
  • Medication management
  • Meal preparation
  • Grocery shopping

When is this form of support needed?

Support is usually needed with these tasks as seniors age because they lose organizational skills and other necessary abilities to complete these tasks.

Who helps with these skills?

If a senior isn’t receiving support with this through an assisted living or personal care community, family members or caregivers may be supporting them in completing these tasks.

It’s often at this point that most seniors and their families begin to consider the support of an assisted living community if they are not currently in one, as needs may be more difficult to keep up with.

senior man looking at his medication at home

Experience Dedicated Support at Waterstone of Lexington

Assisted living at Waterstone of Lexington can help you with activities of daily living while taking the pressure of instrumental activities of daily living off your shoulders.

Our caring team helps those who require support with activities like eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and maintaining personal hygiene. Our lifestyle also removes the need to worry about housekeeping, management of finances, cooking and grocery shopping, transportation and medication management.

This allows older adults to remain as active as possible while staying connected and engaged in community life. Contact us at 781.996.0601 to learn more about how our community supports seniors and helps them maintain independence.