• Peachy Team

What Are ADLs and IADLs?

ADLs, or activities of daily living, are key tasks that people have to manage to be able to live independently.

ADLs are basic self-care tasks that we typically learn as small children. This includes dressing, eating, moving around, and bathing.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) defines the following as ADLs:

  • Bathing/Showering

  • Toileting and toilet hygiene

  • Dressing

  • Eating and swallowing, self-feeding

  • Functional mobility - involves moving from one position or place to another, such as from the bed to the bathroom

  • Personal device care - using, cleaning, and maintaining items such as hearing aids, glasses, prosthetics, and glucometers

  • Personal hygiene and grooming - caring for hair, skin, nails, and teeth

IADLs, or instrumental activities of daily living, are things we usually learn as teenagers. This is a broad category, including things like managing our finances, shopping, home upkeep, and managing medications.

AOTA defines the following IADLs:

  • Care of others, including supervising caregivers

  • Care of pets

  • Child rearing

  • Communication management - sending, receiving, and interpreting information)

  • Driving and community mobility - This also includes walking, cycling, taxis, etc.

  • Financial management

  • Health management and maintenance - Such as physical fitness, nutrition, and medication

  • Home establishment and maintenance

  • Meal preparation and cleanup

  • Religious and spiritual activities

  • Safety and emergency maintenance - This includes things like replacing smoke alarm batteries, identifying emergency contacts, and reducing threats to health and safety.

  • Shopping


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