What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?
What are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?

What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?
ADLs or basic ADLs (BADLs) are the day-to-day fundamental tasks that healthy people can do without assistance. In the health care field, ADLs are an indicator of a person's ability to care for themselves. People require caregiver support or mechanical devices when they are unable to perform ADLs. Medical professionals use a person's ADL measurement to develop care plans and determine admission to a hospital, long-term care, and alternative housing. The basic ADLs are physical tasks that include eating, continence, toileting, bathing, dressing, and mobility or ambulation. These basic or physical ADLs are required for people to live independently.

The 6 Basic Activities of Daily Living

  • Mobility/Ambulating: Stand, Sit, Walk, Move
  • Eating: Ability to Feed Oneself.
  • Dressing, Grooming & Personal Appearance
  • Continence: Bladder and Bowel Control.
  • Toileting: Get to and FromĀ  & Cleaning Oneself
  • Bathing & Personal Hygiene.

What are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?
Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are more complex skills, requiring organization and planning. Unlike basic ADLs which involve personal care, IADLS measure a person's ability to live independently and take care of themselves. Some examples are grocery shopping and meal planning and preparation. IADLs are used to determine how much help a person needs and whether they can live independently without personal support. Our ability to manage IADLs normally declines before we lose our ability to self-care or our basic ADLs. A decline in IADLs may identify health issues that are not apparent. IADLs are often categorized into 8 areas:

8 Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

  • Communication
  • Management of finances
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication management
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping