The acronym most commonly used in the senior health world is ADL: Activities of Daily Living.

These are the tasks that we do everyday—starting when our feet touch the floor in the morning, to when we’re cozying up under our blankets at night. The most common activities include dressing, grooming, bathing, and toileting. They also include physical transfers from one location to another (such as from bed to wheelchair), ambulation (moving about with or without a walker, cane or wheelchair) and feeding one’s self.

You may not have first-hand knowledge of just how much assistance your loved one needs. These are sensitive areas and it may be embarrassing for a loved one to acknowledge or admit their limitations. Disclosure may be tied to fear. They may worry: “If they find out, what will happen to me?”

Assisting with ADLs is key to ensuring your loved one’s safety at home.

Assessing ADLs is also key in utilizing long-term care insurance (LTCi). Long term care insurance usually requires assistance with at least two ADLs to activate your policy. Read the policy carefully and/or call the agent to fully understand the benefit you have qualified for. Insurance policies may cover for care at home, in an assisted living community, and/or skilled nursing—make sure you know where you’re covered.

Assisted living communities use ADLs as a way to assess what level of care is required in the community. This may be done with points per need or by levels of care for a grouping of needs or a combination of the two types. These scores or levels will be attached to a care cost that will be in addition to their room and board charges.

Home care services can provide the help with ADLs that your loved one needs while allowing them to remain right where there are. Studies show that over the vast majority of seniors wish to stay in their own home, or age in place if they have already moved. Home care services are charged by the hour. They may or may not vary charges based on the level ADL assistance needed. Be sure to ask.

At A Helping Hand there are no additional charges based on the level of ADL assistance needed. Call us if you need help determining what ADLs your loved one may need help with and to learn how to meet those needs, 877-281-7111. We serve seniors in towns and cities in the greater King County area, including south to Auburn and Federal Way, north to Lynnwood and Woodinville, east to Bellevue and Issaquah, and west to Edmonds and Seattle.