How Often Activities for Daily Living Should Be Assessed and What You Need to Know

iCareManager June 29, 2020
IDD EHR Activities Daily Living Software - iCareManger


As a provider working in the i/DD / DDA industry, you know just how important it is to manage ADLs for the people that you serve. ADLs, or activities for daily living, are crucial to everyone’s ongoing health and comfort. They should be assessed regularly to ensure that every individual is receiving the best support possible.

There are two key categories of ADLs that need to be assessed. ADLs are simple tasks that must be completed for individuals under support to lead safe and healthy lives. Instrumental activities for daily living, or IADLs, are more complex needs that help individuals live more comfortably and independently. 

Both categories are very important, not only for health but also for living a happy and independent life. When an individual is unable to complete one of these activities on their own, it is an indicator that they need further care. 

Assessing ADLs 

The ADLs that must be assessed are personal hygiene, continence management, dressing, feeding, and ambulating (the ability to move independently). 

The IADLs that must be assessed are companionship, transportation/shopping, meal prep, household management, medication management, financial management, and communication. The individual’s ability to manage these needs on their own will determine the level of support they should be receiving.

For example, some patients may only need weekly assistance with tasks like shopping, cooking, and budgeting, while others may need ongoing daily care to assist with personal hygiene. 

How Often to Evaluate

ADLs need to be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that people are getting appropriate support for their changing needs. There isn’t one standard ADL test, but there are many resources available to help long term care professionals to perform an effective ADL test. 

Generally, older adults will need more frequent ADL evaluations due to the natural process of aging. However, younger adults should still receive evaluations frequently as well. Their needs can change over time as a result of their environment or changes to their health. Frequent assessments will ensure that important needs aren’t ignored. 

iCareManager’s unique technology helps providers create and monitor care plans, and also has features for medication management, HIPAA compliance, and billing. Regular ADL assessments are crucial for developing and managing effective care plans.