Activites of Daily Living

Activities of Daily Living age in place

We can’t avoid age. However, we can avoid some aging. Continue to do things. Be active. Life is fantastic in the way it adjusts to demands; if you use your muscles and mind, they stay there much longer.

 ~Charles H. Townes


Using a person’s functioning level as it relates to Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) can help with determining the level of care assistance that person needs. Use this easy list to get a baseline of needs based on the actual activities it takes to maintain independence.

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are activities in which people engage on a day-to-day basis. These are everyday personal care activities that are fundamental to caring for oneself and maintaining independence.
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are activities related to independent living and are valuable for evaluating persons with the early-stage disease, both to assess the level of disease and to determine the person’s ability to care for himself or herself. Use the Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living lists below and check the level of function for the person as it relates to each activity

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

ADL Function:  Independent    Needs Help    Dependent    Cannot Do




Mouth care


Transferring bed/chair


Climbing stairs


Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

IADL Function:  Independent  –  Needs Help  –   Dependent  –  Cannot Do



Managing medications

Using the phone and

Looking up numbers

Doing housework

Doing laundry

Driving or using public


*Managing finances

*Financial management should never be done by the same person who is providing care.

Recognizing a person’s limitations is the first step in developing a care plan (or making a referral for care) to provide the appropriate type and level of assistance. Determining the type of ADL and IADL care that is needed also enables a clear idea of whether staying at home with care is an option.

For assistance: contact Senior Planning Services in Santa Barbara CA (nonaffiliate)


To DownLoad The ADLs/IADLs Checklist Click Here

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