Warning Signs That Care at Home May Be Needed

ADL / IADL Checklist

Using a person's functioning level as it relates to Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) can help with determining the level of care assistance that person needs. Use this easy list to get a baseline of needs based on the actual activities it takes to maintain independence.

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are activities in which people engage on a day-day basis. These are everyday personal care activities that are fundamental to caring for oneself and maintaining independence.
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are activities related to independent living and are valuable for evaluating persons with early stage disease, both to assess the level of disease and to determine the person's ability to care for himself or herself.

Use the Activities of Daily Living and Instrument Activities of Daily Living lists below and check the level of function for the person as it relates to each activity.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

ADL Function Independent Needs Help Dependent Cannot Do
Bathing
Dressing
Grooming
Mouth care
Toileting
Transferring bed/chair
Walking
Climbing stairs
Eating

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

IADL Function Independent Needs Help Dependent Cannot Do
Shopping
Cooking
Managing medications
Using the phone and looking up numbers
Doing housework
Doing laundry
Driving or using public transportation
*Managing finances

*Financial management should never be done by the same person who is providing care.

Recognizing a person's limitations is the first step in developing a care plan (or making a referral for care) to provide the appropriate type and level of assistance. Determining the type of ADL and IADL care that is needed also enables a clear idea of whether or not staying at home with care is an option. For further assistance in determining appropriate care needs, or for a comprehensive geriatric care assessment by a professional, contact Relevar Home Care.

Web Resources:

Click the links below to access resource Web sites to find out more about the warning signs that care at home may be needed.

Recognizing Health Warning Signs in the Elderly
These tips can help monitor some key health areas that are often missed when working with the elderly.

10 Signs of Alzheimer’s
The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s, along with the differences between Alzheimer’s and typical age-related changes, are outlined here, courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association.

Compulsive Hoarding
National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” interviewed Randy Frost and Gail Steketee, the writers of “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things”. This link allows you to listen to the informative interview.

Just Say NO to Senior Scams
Consumer Action offers some tips on guarding against elder financial abuse. A great list of resources and additional links are also included here.

How to Reduce Junk Mail
41Pounds is a non-profit organization that helps reduce junk mail by contacting several direct mail companies on the consumer’s behalf. Especially useful for cutting down on sweepstakes entry forms or mail scams. Note there is a small charge for this service- $41 for 5 years of coverage, plus they donate $15 to a non-profit selected by the person signing up.

National Do Not Call Registry
Anyone who wishes to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls can register their phone number with this Web site.

Fraud Center Resources
The National Consumer League’s Fraud Center provides information on fraud targeted directly to the elderly.