“Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living”

"Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living":

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are those activities that we perform on a daily basis to maintain our independence and well-being in society. These activities are primarily related to our ability to function independently in our environment. As we age, our ability to perform these activities can diminish, leading to a decrease in our independence. Therefore, it is essential to understand what IADLs are and how they can impact our quality of life.

IADLs refer to a set of tasks that we perform regularly to maintain our wellbeing. These tasks are not related to personal care but are necessary for independent living, such as managing finances, grocery shopping, preparing meals, managing medications, housekeeping, transportation, and using communication devices. IADLs are important determinants of a person’s ability to remain independent. As such, their loss or inability to meet these tasks can significantly impact their quality of life.

In the context of ageing, loss of IADL function can lead to the inability to meet the basic needs of daily living, resulting in a loss of independence. IADLs are particularly relevant for older adults, as changes in health, mobility, and cognition can impact performance in these tasks. For instance, cognitive decline can impact an older adult’s ability to manage finances, taking medication, and following a meal plan. In contrast, physical decline can impact tasks such as housekeeping, laundry, and transportation.

One way to assess IADL function is through the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale. The Lawton IADL scale is a comprehensive assessment of six IADLs: telephone use, shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation. This measure is used to identify potential areas of difficulty that need support or accommodations. For example, if an individual has difficulty with grocery shopping, they may require support from a caregiver or family member to ensure they have adequate food and supplies.

Assessment of IADL function can be crucial in identifying potential issues that may impact an individual’s ability to maintain independence. When an individual has difficulty performing IADLs, it can lead to an increased risk of depression and social isolation, as well as an increased likelihood of nursing home placement. As such, identifying areas of difficulty early on and providing support before it significantly impacts their quality of life is essential.

Furthermore, interventions such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and supportive services can significantly improve IADL function. Occupational therapy can provide cognitive and physical interventions to improve performance in IADLs. Physical therapy can improve the physical function necessary for IADLs such as transportation, shopping, and housekeeping. In contrast, supportive services such as home help, meal delivery, and transportation can provide additional support necessary to maintain independence.

It is essential to note that maintaining independence extends beyond IADLs; personal care is also an important aspect of daily living. The impairment of IADLs and personal care activities can often co-occur in ageing adults. Therefore, having appropriate screening and assessment tools available can help identify areas of difficulty that may need support.

In conclusion, IADLs are critical activities necessary for independent living. Loss or impairment of these functions can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, leading to social isolation, loss of independence, and increased nursing home placement. Early identification of difficulty and interventions such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and supportive services can improve the performance of IADLs, thus improving the quality of life for individuals. Moreover, the proper screening of IADLs and personal care activities is essential in addressing the needs of ageing adults.

For more information, about in home personal care, for seniors and disabled adults. Call Jamhuri Healthcare Services Inc. 1-800-547-2851  or visit us on the web: www.jamhuricares.com


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