Tracking Changes in Ability

Tracking Changes in Ability

May 15, 2020

If you have noticed small changes in the life of a loved one that point to a slowing of physical or cognitive abilities, then the practice of assessing and tracking IADLs and ADLs is a good idea. In this blog, we want to highlight the importance of periodically tracking your own or your loved one’s ability to carry-out the everyday activities that we all consider normal. These activities fall in two categories, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), and Basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

If you notice a persistent change in your loved one’s ability to perform any of the IADLs, it, could be an early indicator of either cognitive impairment or diminishment of physical ability, that could lead to a reduced function in any of the 6 Activities of Daily Living.

The standard assessment used by professionals in the home care, assisted living, and long-term care insurance industries, is an evaluation to measure reduced function in any of the ADLs. The assessment will indicate what care and/or assistance is needed to help the individual complete those ADL tasks.

In some cases, IADL deficiencies may be managed by different service providers, such as a meal preparation or delivery service, a housekeeper, or a money management professional. ADLs require more intensive, hands-on care, whether in-home or in an assisted living residence.

Being sensitive to look for trends in these areas can help prepare for a graceful transition to the right supportive solution. If this is not monitored or measured, it usually results in an emergency situation, creating a crisis response. Communicating changes to a team of professionals who can help you manage the transition from both a care and financial perspective is particularly helpful when these changes have been fully considered in a framework of a plan.

We use tools, like the IADL Self-Assessment, and an ADL Caregiving Assessment to better understand if someone is showing early signs of diminished function, or has progressed to becoming deficient in any of the basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). We use this information to help our clients understand their own capacity, or the caregiving requirements needed to support someone with ADL deficiencies.

Attached to this blog post below, are two tools that track IADL or ADL changes every 6-12 months whether for yourself or for a loved one.