Activities of daily living for seniors

Share this post
Share to Facebook Share to LinkedIn

The term, ADL was formulated in the 1950s by an internationally renowned geriatrician, Sidney Katz. He had been testing and measuring the physical functioning of his patients with disabling conditions. He wanted to help healthcare providers assess their patients while simultaneously restoring his patients’ independence.

A few years later, the Katz ADL Index has lent itself to many healthcare novelties and accomplishments. Now, healthcare providers and senior care professionals around the world use this tool to gauge a senior’s need for care and occupational/physical therapy. Failure to even make this assessment can lead to unsafe conditions and poor quality of life.

Healthcare providers and long term care insurance providers use this tool to access a senior’s need for care or assisted living. Financially, the Katz index can be used as a tool to check a senior’s eligibility for federal or state government assistance and qualifications for reimbursements from privately owned Long Term Care Insurance policies.

What are the ADLs?

According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), these are activities of daily living in  the order of relevance.

  1. Bathing: This is the most common among the five and can be the most complicated to execute. It involves personal hygiene and grooming and consists of actions like brushing the teeth in the morning and at night, brushing the hair.
  2. Dressing: This involves the process of putting on clothes and taking them off.
  3. Transferring (functional mobility): Any task that involves moving from one point to another. It can be getting up to take a shower or taking evening walks.
  4. Toileting: These are continence related. It covers the ability to control the bladder and defecate. It also involves using the toilet as frequently as possible.
  5. Eating: This involves food preparation and feeding.

An individual is completely independent if he/she can complete all these tasks in this category, partially independent if he/she can perform 3-4 tasks and completely dependent if he/she can only perform two tasks.

Activities of daily living may seem mundane at first glance, yet they are essential parts of our lives. If we can’t execute one of these tasks, it can completely alter our lifestyle. These basic self-care procedures are necessary for an excellent quality of life.

There’s something about the ‘every day’ that we seem not to grasp. In this current times, our idea of the everyday is starting to change and our sense of normalcy is not only questioned but also tested. It’s much harder for our seniors as they are struggling to formulate new routines.

Here at GYC, we are working with seniors to help them get a sense of independence while simultaneously assisting them with daily tasks. Our caregivers are working twice as hard to ensure that our seniors are staying safe, and we hope you are too.


Other resources

Link to Katz index: https://www.alz.org/careplanning/downloads/katz-adl.pdf

Checklist for Activities of Daily living: https://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/caringforyourparents/caregiver/pdf/cfyp_adl_checklist.pdf


Share this post
Share to Facebook Share to LinkedIn

Related Articles