Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

One important assessment of your parent’s ability to function independently in their residence is their ability to perform Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). (There are also Activities of Daily of Living or ADLs, which we will discuss in the future.)

IADLs include activities related to the ability to live independently in the community. These include using communication devices, managing transportation, household upkeep such as cleaning and laundry, meal preparation, and managing finances and medications. Other activities include shopping, running errands, and attending physician appointments.

One of the first IADLs your parents may need help with is finances. It’s common for a senior to forget to pay a bill.  I had one client whose electricity was turned off, while another received notice their long-term insurance was cancelled due to non-payment.

Another common IADL seniors need assistance is medication management. Medication errors such as non-compliance, missed doses and overdoses are a major reason for senior emergency room visits and hospitalization.