Activities of Daily Living

As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to do the things we used to do. Even the simplest activities of daily living that we may have taken for granted can become a challenge. When it becomes too hard for an elderly individual to perform the actions needed to tend to their basic needs, some type of senior care is usually the solution.
But what kind? There are many options available—which one is right for my loved one? As part of the process of assessing the needs of an aging individual, doctors and other health care professionals rely on something called Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs for short. Developed in the 1950s by Dr. Sidney Katz, ADLs help measure a person’s ability to live independently. ADLs also aid in making recommendations for their care.

What Are the Activities of Daily Living?

ADLs split into two categories: Basic and Instrumental. Basic ADLs are the most elemental functions of living. They consist of the actions we perform every day to get up and prepare ourselves for our day. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) provides the following list:

  • Bathing, showering
  • Toileting and toilet hygiene
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Feeding
  • Functional mobility
  • Personal device care (glasses, orthotics, prosthetics, medical monitors)
  • Personal hygiene and grooming

Instrumental ADLs are more complex activities requiring a higher level of physical and mental acuity. While these activities aren’t fundamental for daily living, they make it possible for a senior to live independently. This list is also from the AOTA:

  • Care of others (including selecting and supervising caregivers)
  • Care of pets
  • Communication management
  • Community mobility
  • Financial management
  • Health management and maintenance
  • Home establishment and management
  • Meal preparation and cleanup
  • Religious/spiritual activities
  • Safety and emergency maintenance
  • Shopping

By assessing how well a person can engage in these groups of activities, a health care provider can get a clear picture of what the person’s needs are and what sort of living arrangement will suit them best.

Our Approach

At Seasons at Laguna, we know that the effects of aging can be as hard to accept as they are to live with. While we encourage our residents to be as independent as they’re comfortable being, we do our utmost to support the individual’s needs—and their dignity—through the aging process.

Most of our residents require assistance with basic ADLs. We provide a basic daily routine for our residents to ensure they have a schedule they can rely on and are prepared to meet each day at their best. In addition to bathing, dressing, and meals, we make sure medicines are taken at the proper time, and appointments are kept. We also organize activities based on the person’s abilities, which may include outdoor walks, reading on the patio, games in the house, or occasional outings into town or to experience the beautiful Southern California scenery.

Contact Us

Are you considering senior living options for yourself or a loved one? We know the prospect can be daunting. At Seasons at Laguna, we can help you to understand how to properly evaluate ADLs and find the right senior living facility for your needs. To learn more about us or to schedule a tour of one of our residences, please call us at 800.340.9704.