6 Reasons Activities of Daily Living Are Important for Older Adults

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Important Daily Living Activities for Older Adults in Centennial, CO

The activities of daily living (ADLs) are the basic tasks people need to be able to perform in order to live independently. These involve the skills needed to meet their physical needs in six areas: eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, continence, and mobility. Every aging adult has different levels of functional abilities, and a senior may be completely independent, require a minimum amount of assistance, or depend totally on a caregiver to successfully perform the ADLs. Age-related health issues can make it challenging for older adults to complete the everyday self-care tasks that are necessary to stay safe and healthy. Here are some details about each ADL and why it’s important for your senior loved one’s wellbeing.

1. Eating

At the most basic level, this refers to a senior’s ability to get food from a plate into his or her mouth, but it also extends to the ability to plan and prepare nutritious meals and snacks. Aging adults need proper daily nutrition to prevent health conditions such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes. Preparing healthy meals can be challenging for seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions. You can help your loved one by shopping for groceries, assisting with meal prep, and making meals ahead of time that can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and reheated during the week.

Helping your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals is one of the many types of support an in-home caregiver can provide. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Centennial, CO, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Dressing

Seniors should be able to choose clothes that are appropriate for weather conditions and daily situations and dress themselves independently. If you notice your loved one is wearing the same clothes for several days, he or she may be experiencing a decrease in the dexterity or flexibility necessary to put on clothing or use fasteners such as buttons and zippers. Consider switching your loved one’s clothing options to include pants with elastic waistbands, shirts with magnetic closures, and shoes with Velcro fasteners. If your parent has difficulty with coordination, balance, or cognitive function, he or she may need assistance with dressing.

3. Bathing

Personal hygiene, which includes bathing as well as maintaining hair and nail hygiene, is essential to stave off a variety of physical and mental health issues, from skin infections to depression. If your loved one is bathing less frequently because he or she is afraid of falling in the shower or tub, try simple bathroom modifications, such as installing grab bars, nonslip floor mats, or a shower chair. If these modifications don’t solve the problem, consider hiring a home caregiver to help your loved one with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks.

If your loved one needs help with bathing and grooming, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful addition to your caregiving team. When considering at-home care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

4. Toileting

Toileting involves a senior being able to get to and from the toilet, use it appropriately, and clean him or herself afterward. Many aging adults find getting to the bathroom, undressing, and sitting down on the toilet difficult. For seniors, bathrooms can be treacherous and challenging to navigate, and your loved one may need assistance with using the restroom. If your loved one needs help to get on and off the toilet safely or needs to use the bathroom frequently, a compassionate in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support.

5. Continence

Continence refers to the ability to control bowel and bladder function. Incontinence is a serious health concern that could impact the ability to manage everyday activities independently. Many seniors experience varying degrees of incontinence for a number of reasons, such as pelvic floor atrophy, dementia, strokes, and prostate enlargement. If your loved one is incontinent, he or she may need assistance with cleaning him or herself and changing his or her clothes. 

6. Mobility

Being mobile enables seniors to strengthen coordination and balance, maintain joint flexibility, and prevent muscles from weakening. Whether your loved one is able to walk independently or needs assistance, he or she needs to remain as mobile as possible. The ability to ambulate on his or her own can increase your parent’s sense of independence and boost his or her self-esteem. If your loved one is experiencing mobility limitations, consider consulting the doctor to determine whether a walker, wheelchair, cane, or gait-training aid might help.

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Centennial, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (303) 957-3100 today. 

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