ADL’s – Activities of Daily Living

As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses, he or she will need more assistance with activities of daily living or ADLs. The seemingly simple and basic activities we take for granted such as eating, basic hygiene, shaving, dressing, and toileting become harder to do; as abilities deteriorate and routines are forgotten, these activities might even be neglected altogether. The same thing happens to instrumental activities of daily living such as food preparation, laundry, and housekeeping, shopping, taking mediation, managing finances, and using the telephone.

The ability to perform ADLs is measured using methods such as the Lawton IADL Scale and the Katz ADL Scale. A healthcare professional can use these metrics to determine the level of care your elderly loved one needs. In some cases, simple solutions such as a cane for walking around or specially designed utensils for eating might be enough. Sturdy grab bars can make bathing safer, and raised toilet seats extend an elderly person’s independence because it makes toileting a bit easier. But for elderly people with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s, long-term institutional care may be recommended.

If your loved one needs to move to a senior care facility, make sure to choose one that truly specializes in assisting clients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementias. A regular assisted living facility won’t do. You need to find a home that is manned by specially trained staff who know how to manage their clients’ conditions. Their caregivers can assist your loved one in performing ADLs, ensuring his or her safety. They also have amenities that can improve the quality of life of elderly people who have memory and cognitive issues. These senior care facilities can provide your loved one a caring, secure, and nurturing environment that ultimately makes him or her happier despite the condition.