What Are ADLs and Why Do They Matter?
There are numerous considerations to consider when you or a loved one considers seeking additional care. One of the first steps in determining whether or not you require further assistance is determining which areas require special attention. The amount of assistance required for a person to conduct their ADLs is an indicator of the sort of care that may be required.
ADLs are Activities of Daily Living, which refer to the skills required to meet a person's physical demands. Eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, continence, and mobility are examples of ADLs. One or more parts of a person's life may be altered as they age. These ADLs are used to gauge a person's functional condition. Every person is unique, and needs in one category may differ from needs in another.
Another way ADLs might be beneficial is when they are tracked over time. Often, functional capacity declines with age, and monitoring changes in ADLs can help to ensure that all physical and mental health problems are examined. Changes in ADLs and a decrease in functional status might potentially be indicators of an underlying medical issue. If you or a loved one notices this decrease, make an appointment with your general practitioner for management assistance and potential referrals. Unmet needs in the ADL categories can lead to a variety of health issues, including starvation, poor personal cleanliness, isolation, falls, and illnesses such as urinary tract infections.
One of the greatest ways to remain on top of aging is to make sure that a senior has the daily care they require to do their ADLs, which can prevent new and worsening health problems. It's a kind of health investment, in a way. For example, assisting a senior who may want assistance showering now may increase their lives and proactively prevent health concerns later on. A senior who requires ADL support will almost always require personal care assistance. This is vital to keep in mind while comparing different care alternatives, because independent living facilities do not aid with ADLs, whereas in-home care, assisted living, or a nursing home would.
Needing assistance with ADLs can also be a criteria for many grant-funded elder care programs. If you or someone you know requires ADL support, it's worth checking to see if you're eligible for the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. The CT Home Care Program assists the elderly who require financial assistance in obtaining non-medical home care from a company such as Golden Horizons. Contact your local Agency on Aging to check whether you are qualified.