Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)Where ADLs address one's ability to function fundamentally, IADLs cover the more nuanced and complex social activities in one's life. IADLs may include but are not limited to:

  • Light housework and chores
  • Meal preparation and cleanup
  • Managing of finances
  • Managing of medications
  • Shopping (groceries, clothing, household supplies, etc.)
  • Using the telephone (dialing, retrieving numbers, etc.)

Occupational therapists may also evaluate IADLs in order to complete a patient assessment. These include several other areas of IADLs that are generally optional in nature, and may be delegated to others. These areas include:

  • Care of others
  • Care of pets
  • Community mobility
  • Health management & maintenance

Many seniors who live independently can perform most or all IADLs sufficiently. Difficulty in performing some IADLs can be used to indicate where help is needed. It is common for family caregivers to provide assistance with IADLs. This is a great way to allow the senior to remain at home as long as possible, delaying the need for long term care.