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Caregiving hacks for easier activities of daily living (ADLs) for your senior

Caregivers find themselves jumping from one task to another: making breakfast, followed by helping their loved one complete their morning grooming and dressing regime, followed by a doctor’s appointment, then clearing those breakfast dishes to make room for lunch preparation.

The to-do list goes on and on.

Many of these activities are considered “activities of daily living,” or ADLs—very basic activities that allow a person to care for themselves. First coined more than 70 years ago, the term refers to the following six categories:

  1. Eating: The ability of a person to feed oneself.
  2. Dressing: Selecting appropriate clothes and putting the clothes on.
  3. Personal hygiene: Bathing and grooming oneself and maintaining dental hygiene, nail and hair care.
  4. Continence: Controlling bladder and bowel function.
  5. Toileting: Getting to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.
  6. Ambulating: Moving from one position to another and walking independently.

national survey determined that 20.7% of adults aged 85 or older, 7% of those aged 75 to 84, and 3.4% of those aged 65 to 74 needed help with ADLs. And that number is much higher for older adults with dementia.

These stats mean that ADLs become common to-do tasks for caregivers and can often consume large blocks of time—even entire days.

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