How do you know when your mom or dad need elder care services? Your doctor says the list of activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living are the best way to decide when it’s time. Is that really the best way to decide?
What Are ADLs and IADLs?
For years, ADLs and IADLs have been the way the medical world looks at the ability of a person to care for himself/herself. If a person struggles with at least two ADLs, it’s often felt that help around the home is important.
ADLs are the tasks needed for self-care and personal hygiene. It includes things like bathing/showering, toileting, eating, dressing, brushing teeth, and other tasks of that nature. Being able to get in and out of bed, stand up/sit down, and walk from one room to another are other ADLs.
IADLs are a little different as they are not immediately linked to self-care and hygiene. They cover things like paying bills, keeping the house clean and organized, cooking meals, driving a car or using public transportation, and going to stores.
Is That the Best Way?
-You can use ADLs and IADLs to help you assess your mom or dad’s ability to live at home alone. It’s not always the best way, however. If your dad has arthritis, he may not have a problem with anything on the list. What he doesn’t have are friends.
-Since he retired, your dad’s friends have moved to other states. His neighbors have moved away. He spends every day by himself and seems happy to be completely alone. He’s becoming reclusive and it worries you.
-Your mom is perfectly capable of doing things on her own, but she’s had a car accident. She’s not sure she wants to keep driving. She’s anxious behind the wheel now, and you are finding it hard to be there to provide her transportation.
-The best way to know if it’s time for elder care services is by looking at the situation. Talk to your mom or dad’s doctor and see if there have been changes to his or her health. See if the vision has changed. Many seniors have at least one chronic health condition. All of these can indicate it’s time to bring in help.
-Trust your instincts. If you notice your parent’s house is looking less organized and things like laundry are piling up, it’s time for elder care services. Call an agency to talk about the best schedules and prices for home care services.