In-Home Elder Care: Activities of Daily Living

activities of daily livingIn-Home Elder Care includes services that improve the quality of life, increase safety, and simply make life less of a chore for the elderly. Specifically in-home elder care deals with the activities of daily living.

These activities are broken down into two types of care: Companion or Personal Care. Both are classified as Non-Medical because they do not require a nurse to carry them out. Companion Care allows a professionally trained caregiver to provide IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living). Personal Care allows for the provision of ADLs (Activities of Daily Living).  A breakdown of the differences between these two types of non-medical care is provided below:

Companion Care Professionals Provide IADLs.

Companion Care provides you or your loved one with personalized services to fit his or her needs and can include the following types of services and many other IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living):

  • light housekeeping
  • laundry and changing linens
  • errands
  • medication reminders
  • incidental transportation
  • home organization assistance
  • shopping (groceries, clothes, gifts)
  • gift wrapping
  • meal preparation and cleanup
  • monitoring bathing safety
  • supervise dressing and grooming
  • activities to encourage exercise of the body and mind

Many people do not require care beyond assistance with IADLs, as long as they are fairly mobile, able to bath, dress and eat with minimal assistance. However, if they also need assistance with ADLs, then it is time to consider Personal Care Services. For example, a Companion Caregiver can prepare a meal for a client, but they cannot feed the client. The client must be able to utilize utensils and feed herself. A Personal Care Professional can both prepare the meal, cut up the food, and assist the client with eating it.

Personal Care Professionals Provide ADLs and IADLs

Personal Care provides you or your loved one with personalized services to fit his or her needs which includes All Companion Care Services listed above PLUS the following types of services:

  • bathing
  • dressing
  • transferring
  • incontinence care
  • assistance with eating
  • mobility

ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), such as those listed above require additional training and cannot be performed by a Companion Caregiver. Employees who deliver Personal Care Services are also periodically supervised by a Registered RN.  It is imperative that persons who are transferring, bathing, dressing or assisting persons with incontinence care have the proper training so that neither patient nor caregiver is injured or put in danger during the process of providing assistance.