Knowing When It Is Time For Assisted Living Pt 1

Sometimes it can be difficulty deciding when a professional care facility outweighs the care you can provide at home when it comes to your parents or senior family members. One way to measure the care level a senior requires is by charting their activities of daily living. This concept helps professionals know how well a senior can manage essentials which contribute to their day-to-day life. Dr. Sidney Katz, who developed this method in the 1960s, broke daily routines down into six categories: bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, and feeding. By following the system outlined below you can better decide if and when is the right time to make the transition of your loved one to a professional care center where they are better suited to handle individuals with less independence and mobility.

Each category in the “Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living” holds equal significance and measures people based on a binary value system. “0” signifies you cannot complete that particular task, and you get a “1” if you can; values are assigned to each category in this way. Once that is complete, you add up the individual numbers and the higher the total you get, the more independent the person is when it comes to daily living. For instance, when a senior has scored 5 out of 6 on this model, they have a relatively easy time taking care of their basic activities. However, if they score 1 or 2, it becomes clear they need plenty of care as well as attentiveness, and because of that, a more hands-on form of senior care. Besides ADLs, there are broader activities which professionals look at in order to get a detailed understanding of the kind of care which a senior requires. These are known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living or IADLs and include the following activities which a senior needs to perform.

  • Cleaning their residence
  • Paying bills
  • Cooking food for themselves
  • Being able to carry themselves outside of the residence
  • Socializing

Professionals measure these in a similar way to Activities of Daily Living, with numbers assigned to each aspect. However, because IADLs are expansive in relation to ADLs, the number range used for gauging differs as well. To avoid any likely bias, these are kept different between men and women. For the former, scores usually range from 0 to 8, while for the latter, the highest score is at 5. These are comparable to ADLs in the way they are measured, as a higher score shows the person has higher independence.

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