Brickmont Assisted Living Blog

ADLs and iADLs: Understanding the Difference

Posted by The Brickmont Assisted Living Team on Aug 1, 2023 8:00:00 AM | 3 minute read


Activities of Daily Living, otherwise known as ADLs, are the essential and routine tasks that a person must complete every day to maintain a safe and independent lifestyle. ADLs are typically made up of personal care tasks, like grooming and bathing, and when a person is no longer able to handle these routines, it can lead to unsafe living conditions and health concerns. 

However, did you know there’s another form of ADLs? These are known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (iADLs), and they measure a person’s ability to complete various planning tasks. While these aren’t necessarily required to be done every day, they are still vital to healthy and safe living. 

Brickmont Assisted Living understands how crucial it is to gauge a person’s ability to live independently and safely, and our assisted living services support individuals with these routines to help them live safer, healthier lives. From minimal assistance to 24/7 support, Brickmont’s assisted living communities throughout Atlanta provide the freedom to maintain independence while leading an enriching, full lifestyle. 

As you or someone you love navigates senior living options, it’s important to understand the differences between ADLs and iADLs to gauge whether assisted living could provide a better quality of life. 

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Most individuals are able to perform ADLs without assistance, but as people age, it can become challenging to complete one or more of the following essential ADLs:

  • Mobility: a person’s ability to move from one position to another 
  • Feeding: the extent to which a person can feed themselves
  • Dressing: selecting appropriate clothing for the weather and the ability to dress independently
  • Personal Hygiene: maintaining dental hygiene, nail and hair care, bathing, and grooming
  • Continence: the ability to control bladder function
  • Toileting: the ability to get to and from the toilet, use it properly, and clean oneself afterward

Learning how each of these ADLs affects an individual’s ability to take care of themselves can help to determine if a person is in need of daily assistance or if a person might benefit from moving to an assisted living community. 

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are made up of the tasks that a person needs to complete in order to take care of their home and health and maintain their lifestyle, including:

  • Preparing Meals: the ability to grocery shop, prepare ingredients, and cook meals
  • Cleaning and Chores: taking care of household maintenance on a regular basis
  • Transportation: being able to drive oneself or navigate public transportation services independently
  • Managing Finances: a person’s ability to manage bills, monetary transactions, and keep up with personal finance accounts
  • Doing Laundry: the ability to ensure that an individual’s clothing is clean and organized

iADLs are often learned as teenagers, as young adults begin to require more complex thinking and organizational skills while preparing to venture out into the world on their own. 

Because these specific skills require a fair amount of cognitive function, it can be incredibly common for iADLs to become a challenge when a person begins to develop issues with memory, problem-solving, and thinking. Therefore, many older adults who are facing a form of dementia start to notice difficulties in completing iADLs successfully. 

How Can Assisted Living Help with ADLs and iADLS?

When a person struggles with completing any activities of daily living, whether they revolve around self-care or more critical thinking skills, it’s a cause for concern. Not only can an inability to complete these tasks affect general health and safety, but they can significantly decrease a person’s ability to enjoy their lifestyle and live independently. 

At Brickmont Assisted Living, our assisted living communities throughout Atlanta offer a helping hand to seniors who require extra assistance with ADLs and other tasks. Our dedicated staff provides outstanding care in order to make a difference in the quality of life of our residents every day. 

We invite you to discover assisted living at Brickmont by scheduling a tour of one of our communities today.

Topics: Health

Our Brickmont blog serves as a helpful resource for older adults, caregivers, and families. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on industry trends, senior health tips, and Brickmont Assisted Living communities!

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts