When it comes to the care of a loved one, most are dedicated to finding the best in-home or on-site services that can cater to the needs of each individual or family. Each loved one has individual needs, and it is important that each one is cared for in a personalized way. Unfortunately, there are few in-home caregivers that have personalized care; most see patients as just that: as a simple patient, not a person with needs. When dealing with caregivers, it is important to make sure that they complete the essential Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). But what are these initiatives?
Before getting into what ADLs and IADLs are and what they are used for, it is important first to note what in-home assisted living is and when it is required.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of care that is provided in both residential communities and in the home of a loved one. Assisted living is typically for those who struggle with accomplishing daily tasks, such as keeping up with cooking, cleaning, laundry, personal care, and errands of the house.
Assisted living is not always for those with illnesses, as they require a different type of care, such as from a nursing home or live-in nurse for the home. Assisted living is all about supporting the life of a semi-dependent individual.
The personalized care is what makes an assisted living program great—without it, residents are simply seen as “patients” instead of individuals. It is important that each loved one is given the best care. Because of this, most assisted living communities and providers have initiatives that support the individual.
When Does Someone Need Assisted Living?
It is important to know the signs of when a loved one needs assisted living care. Although minor, these small inconveniences or hindrances on their lives can make things overly complicated and even sometimes dangerous.
- Memory loss: Forgetting things such as paying bills, going to appointments, and running errands all run the risk of utilities getting shut off or illnesses worsening. If a loved one is constantly forgetting these things, along with forgetting to eat, bathe, take medication, or check in every once in awhile, it may be time to get some help.
- Loss of Mobility: When a loved one can no longer move like they used to, there is a great toll, both physically and emotionally. Having someone there to help them up the stairs, out to the porch, or even to a restaurant nearby is of great help to most people who are experiencing difficulty in moving or getting around.
- Loneliness: whether they have just lost a spouse or a friend, loneliness is the top cause of an unhappy living situation for those who are aging. Having someone nearby to give them a sense of camaraderie or friendship is crucial to the health and happiness of loved ones.
If a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to try Assisted Living.
What is Personalized Care?
Individualized care is centered around treating the whole person, such as catering to their personal preferences, including when to bathe, when to eat, what to eat, when to get to sleep, when to wake up, when to engage in physical activity, and when to focus on improving strength or memory. Most of the care in assisted living is centered around this type of dynamic.
When individuals have certain needs, assisted living communities will establish what a resident’s ADLs and IADLs are. They will work on these initiatives daily to better improve the quality of life for each resident. But what are ADLs exactly?
ADLs are the things that are absolutely imperative to a loved one’s health, happiness, and quality of life. Whether living on-site or in-home, care staff is able to provide the best quality of personalized care for each person based on the below initiatives:
Personal Hygiene: Unfortunately, as loved ones age, their ability to being able to self-groom can be hindered. Care staff can ensure that each individual is bathed and clean. This includes assisting with baths, helping with brushing hair/washing face, brushing teeth, and cleaning nails.
Incontinence Care: If personal hygiene is a barrier for loved ones, toileting care usually comes along with that. Care teams are able to assist with this by changing adult diapers, emptying catheter bags, or simply helping the loved one on and off the toilet. It all depends on the needs of the individual and how much assistance they need to live comfortably.
Memory Help: Whether reminding them to take their medication, give their daughter a call, or make a payment, care teams are able to assist loved ones with their day-to-day tasks without simply taking them over, instilling a sense of independence. They are able to help them arrange a ride or call in to the doctor to make appointments or simply run errands around town. The care team provides the loved one with friendly reminders to help them get through their day smoothly.
Home Care: With mobility often limited, keeping the house, apartment, or condo clean is sometimes an issue for loved ones. Care teams are able to assist them with keeping their areas clean, as well as ensuring that they are constantly living in a healthy environment that promotes wellbeing. This includes cleaning dishes, washing sheets, doing laundry, making beds, folding/putting away clothes, and especially disinfecting areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. All of this will promote a healthy living environment for the loved one while ensuring that their home remains just that: their home.
What Are IADLs?
IADLs are those things that the individual simply cannot, but must, do. They differ from ADLS in that they are the things that absolutely must get done everyday or else the loved one would face illness, sickness, or poor health.
Meal Prepping: While some loved ones are able to fully take care of themselves, such as with cooking, it is important to note that sometimes they simply lack the energy to prepare a full meal. When this happens, they will often eat small, unhealthy meals, such as microwave noodles or toaster pastries. This does not promote a healthy environment for loved ones of any condition. For this reason, care teams will often prepare the meals for the week ahead by placing fully cooked meals in plasticware in the refrigerator. By doing this, care teams are able to provide loved ones with fully cooked meals, that can be heated up at any time. This enables seniors to be independent enough that it gives them the confidence of being self-sufficient, while ensuring that they are always taken care of.
Transportation: Since many seniors are incapable mobilizing themselves around the house, it is nearly impossible for some of them to drive or use public transportation. With the inconvenience of limited mobility, getting to and from important appointments and errands, without running the risk of falling, getting lost, or injury, is difficult for most loved ones with these limitations. A great way to handle this obstacle is to have someone from a trusted care team either drive them to and from appointments or hire someone to do so. The family members must put a lot of trust in the caregivers, but it can prove to be majorly beneficial for everyone involved. Ensuring the safety of the loved one, as well as ensuring peace of mind in terms of the family, is of the utmost importance to most assisted living providers.
Entertainment: As odd as it may sound, keeping loved ones happy and comfortable either in their own homes or in communities is very important to overall health. Happy residents are healthy residents, and care teams know how to ensure happiness. Even performing activities, such as taking a walk, watching a movie together, or playing cards, can build the relationship between caregiver and loved one. It can also ensure that the loved one is enjoying their time with the caregiver, seeing them more as a friend than simply a helping hand. Keeping loved ones happy and entertained is crucial in making sure that the loved one is satisfied with their current situation. Despite the difficulties associated with aging, assisted living can be both beneficial and enjoyable for loved ones.
Overall, the care of a whole person is crucial to happiness and health. Approaching each person differently, as an individual, is the best way to ensure that loved ones are cared for, looked after, and safe.
If a loved one is experiencing any of the obstacles explained above, it might be time for assisted living. When looking for a provider, be sure to see how they might explain their activities of daily living and and instrumental activities of daily living initiatives and how they provide resident-focused care. As being cared for as an individual is the most important part of anyone’s life, it is imperative that the location chosen is known for its sympathy, helpfulness, and care. Contact Cobbdale Assisted Living for more information.