Noting The Activities Of Daily Living

Do you have elderly parents or relatives that live alone? Do you visit them on a regular basis or drop in to see how they are doing?  You should be aware of the “activities of daily living” (known as ADLs in the health care profession) to ensure that your loved ones are doing all right.  Here is a checklist of questions to be on the lookout for when caring for the elderly:

Personal Hygiene
Are they combing their hair in the morning and brushing their teeth? Are they bathing regularly?

Are they in the same clothing as they were the last time you saw them? Is the clothing disheveled as if they slept in it? Does it smell from being worn day after day?

Food and Drink
Are your loved ones preparing their own food? If so, is the food prepared properly and stored in a safe location like in a cupboard or the refrigerator? Are they eating and drinking daily?

Bodily Functions
This is something that most of us don’t like to think about, but are there bathroom issues that are not being addressed with your loved one? Poor bathroom hygiene can cause bigger problems for an elderly patient, such as infections or disease.  It is imperative that these issues be attended.

Getting Around
One of the final things you should take notice of in your interaction is their ability to get around the home.  Are they doing this successfully? If they are in a wheelchair, can they transfer from the bed to the chair without assistance or is extra help needed?  Are they struggling with stairs or just walking from room to room?

We all want what is best for an elderly family member or loved one.  Making their daily lives comfortable should be a top priority.  To do this, help begins with your diligence.  If you cannot visit often, make sure there is someone who can visit and ensure they are living life to the fullest.