Daily Activities and the Aging Process

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Daily Activities and the Aging Process

One of the most difficult parts of the aging process is the way daily activities that used to be second nature become harder and eventually impossible to perform. Things as simple as getting out of bed or getting dressed used to barely cross your mind, but now these and other similar tasks are difficult processes that take real time, effort and often pain.

Part of our assisted living program at Legacy House of Ogden includes friendly assistance with many of these daily tasks from our experienced professional staff. We help our residents gradually adjust to their new realities in a comfortable way.

For people without such assistance, though, daily task management can become a very serious issue as the aging process takes place. Generally, these tasks are split into two categories: “Activities of daily living (ADL)” and “instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).” What do these categories signify, and what kind of issues can they create for seniors?

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Activities of daily living include all sorts of basic tasks that a person generally performs every day. A few of the most common include:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the bathroom
  • Eating
  • Walking
  • Getting in and out of bed

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

Instrumental activities of daily living refer to activities which generally involve tools or items, and count more as household maintenance rather than personal upkeep. Some examples of IADL activities:

  • Cooking
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning
  • Sewing
  • Operating a television or computer

What ADL and IADL Issues Can Mean

Losses in the ability to perform basic ADL or IADL functions are harmful for practical reasons, but also because they can signal other more serious health issues. Sometimes stamina issues related to heart or lung conditions might cause this loss of function, for example, and someone with arthritis might be mentally capable but physically incapable of cooking food for themselves.

If you or a loved one has begun experiencing these losses in function, it’s probably worthwhile to see a doctor and make sure there’s nothing else going on.

Inability to Recognize

A big part of the issue in these situations is the fact that some seniors, particularly those receiving Alzheimer’s care or treatment for dementia, aren’t fully capable of recognizing their own conditions. Some have trouble noticing or remembering what’s wrong with them, where others naturally try to deny the problem to themselves and loved ones because it’s difficult to accept.

If you have loved ones entering the later stages of life, be perceptive to any changes taking place in their daily routine. You might be their best chance at getting the help they need before things devolve too much.

In the assisted living and retirement community at Legacy House of Ogden, our staff is expertly trained to gently help residents normalize in their new situation and assist them wherever needed. Representatives are standing by to help you find a comfortable, independent living space for you or a loved one.

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