Activities of daily living and their close relative, instrumental activities of daily living or IADLs, all describe activities that your elderly family member needs to be able to do on a daily basis. This is especially the case if she plans to age in place. These activities are part of self-care and too much difficulty with some of these tasks can be an indication that your senior needs some more help.

Using the Telephone and Other Communication Tools

Senior Care Coatesville, PA:Instrumental ADLs and Aging in Place

Being able to communicate with others is an immensely important task for someone who wants to age in place. Evaluating this IADL involves paying attention to whether your elderly family member uses the phone, or even text messaging and email, to communicate effectively with you and with other people. If she has difficulty or refuses to use any communication tools, that might be a sign you need to look into this situation more closely.

Eating Healthy Meals on a Daily Basis

The reason that eating healthy meals is so important for aging in place is that you’ll know your elderly family member is less likely to be malnourished. She might not always be eating perfect meals, but if she’s shopping for food and making an effort to eat as healthfully as possible, that’s a step in the right direction.

Household Tasks, Like Laundry

Household tasks aren’t usually much fun for anybody, but they’re a necessary part of life. So those tasks like laundry, dusting, and keeping up with the dishes can all tell you a little bit about how your senior is handling her experience aging in place. You’re not gauging how perfectly your senior does these things, but that she’s able to do them.

Paying Bills and Managing Money

Taking care of her finances is another part of managing daily life well. Even if your elderly family member’s bills are on autopay, she needs to be keeping up with how well that system is working and making sure that she’s balancing her accounts regularly. If she’s letting mail and bills pile up, that could be an indication of an issue.

Handling Getting Where She Needs to Go

Whether your elderly family member still does her own driving or not, is she still able to go where she needs and wants to go? This might mean that she relies on friends and family for transportation or that she uses other options that allow her to be as mobile as she wants to be.

One misconception involved in instrumental activities of daily living is that your senior has to handle all of these tasks perfectly or with no assistance. That’s not necessarily the case. There may be times when having help from you or from senior care providers helps your elderly family member to continue to age in place successfully and that’s definitely a win.


If you or an loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Coatesville, PA, talk to Unlimited Staffing Solutions. Specializing in Home and Community Based Support Waiver Services Since 2001. Please Call Us for Your Home Care Needs (215) 447-7133

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