In our previous blog, we explored Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Today we are looking at Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).
What does IADL mean?
Instrumental activities of daily living, IADLs, are tasks we perform each day that keep our bodies healthy, allowing us to live independently and as active community members. Both mental and physical health factors impact these complex tasks involved in our day-to-day lives.
What are the 7 IADLS?
The seven IADLs are practiced by most physiotherapists and occupational therapists, helping determine the level of care their patient requires and any assistive products that could help the patient during the completion of their IADLs.
Due to illness, surgery, or disability, some patients may need more help in an area than others, so it is essential to review each patient individually. The seven IADLs and some helpful products:
In our homes, we constantly communicate with one another and the outside world through channels such as mail, emails, and phone calls. Being able to stay in touch with others is essential to daily life. It allows you to pay the bills and let others know how you are doing. It's great to stay in touch with people, providing the feeling of connection and companionship.
Many older adults, especially since lockdown, have been alone for a significant length of time, and a little phone call can be the highlight of their day. The older generation hates to feel like a burden, and sometimes they can avoid reaching out, even when they need it the most.
Handling mail poses difficulties, from confusing forms to tiny text. Older adults may find writing tricky and require a writing aid. At Tenura, we have cutlery grips that slide onto pens increasing the handle's grip, comfort, and width. A thicker pen means less dexterity is required to hold it.
We have to leave the house for many reasons like getting fresh air, going shopping or meeting up with friends. Navigating outside the house can be daunting for those with mobility impairments due to the potential risk of slip and fall accidents. Building up confidence with a walking aid could reassure the user to once again go outside independently.
Walking aids such as Zimmer frames can be further adapted to meet a person's specific needs. For example, wrapping Tenura grip strips around the handle improves grip and hold, perfect for those lacking grip strength.
For some, a wheelchair is a more appropriate mobility aid. To get in and out of the wheelchair independently, walking aids can be a great help, along with a Tenura non-slip floor mat. By having a good foothold, you can move more easily without the risks. Tenura silicone floor mat has adhesive-like qualities, giving you a secure footing as the mat won't slide out from under your feet.
For some, a guide dog or other assistance animal is required or help them navigate. You will need to talk to a specialist charity to access this type of assistance.
Cooking involves many risks and challenges, especially if the person has a disability that affects their use of cooking equipment.
Tenura sells silicone grip roll, which is grip-enhancive, increasing a person's ability to hold onto knives and other larger utensils.
Knives are often heavily used in a kitchen for food prep, and a good, comfortable grip is vital. Keeping cutting knives sharp is also important, as a dull knife can lead to a lack of control. Using Tenura grip strips or grip roll on the handle of a knife when cutting with or sharpening knives can help reduce the likelihood of accidents and injury. A Tenura anti-slip mat can be placed under chopping boards to increase grip with the surface and further prevent slips.
Tenura anti-slip mats create a non-slip surface for plates and bowls to rest when spreading or mixing. A non-slip surface allows you to perform these functions with more control and less risk of spills or injury. Tenura anti-slip mats are particularly useful if you only have the use of one hand or arm, as it will hold plates and bowls in place for you.
You can wrap Tenura grip roll around panhandles as it's heat resistant (up to 250°C), stopping hands from getting burnt during the cooking process.
Feeding can be a struggle for people with conditions such as arthritis or Parkinson's due to weakened grip or hand tremors, but using Tenura cutlery grips can add comfort due to the increased handle's width that makes cutlery easier to hold. Cutlery grips can slide onto many kitchen utensils to improve grip. For any utensils too large to fit, wrap a Tenura silicone grip roll around the handle instead.
Tenura sells silicone grip roll, which is grip-enhancive, increasing a person's ability to hold onto knives and other larger utensils. You can wrap Tenura grip roll around panhandles as it's heat resistant (up to 250°C), stopping hands from getting burnt during the cooking process.
Opening jars and containers can be tricky too. We have all found jars tough to open, but you can use a Tenura jar opener to enhance grip on jar lids and other large containers with a twist-off cap. They reduce the amount of force necessary, which puts less strain on muscles and joints.
Shopping involves the IADL, transportation, as people need to get to the shops, such as supermarkets or pharmacies. Of course, they could shop online, which has its own set of difficulties, from computer literacy to website accessibility.
Going shopping requires many skills, such as writing shopping lists, budgeting, self-control, and forethought. Mobility, another IADL, has a key role in this activity as mobility around shops is crucial.
You can adapt your mobility aids to make them more comfortable. Wheelchair users can line the wheelchair's footrest to stop their feet from sliding off. Cut Tenura silicone grip roll to a suitable size, peel away the backing, and apply it to the footrest for improved grip. If you have a wheelchair with a shelf, you can line it with Tenura grip roll, which means your shopping will remain in place and won't slide around, thanks to silicone's gripping properties.
Writing shopping lists can also be beneficial, as it keeps things organized and helps you budget.
Many jobs fall under the umbrella term of housework, including cleaning the bathroom, dusting and hoovering, folding clothes, and putting them away. Each of these tasks requires different movements and actions.
Mobility issues can prevent someone from completing housework, as tasks are no longer manageable with their condition. Avoiding housework creates many problems. The house can fall into disarray, becoming a health risk and negatively affect mental health.
Those with limited mobility may find one or more of these daily activities tricky, but carers or products can help. A person can use non-slip mats to remain organized. You can apply Tenura Extreme mats to walls and stick dry objects such as keys or kitchen utensils to their surface, making them highly visible. There are two colors available; clear and green. We suggest using the green Tenura Extreme mat as a visual aid to make belongings stand out for someone with a visual impairment.
Some jobs require heavy lifting, such as taking rubbish outside. Other tasks require a mechanical or electrical engineer, meaning a professional needs to be called, which plays into the IADL, communication.
Those who require assistance with their instrumental activities of daily living sometimes have a condition that requires medication. Being able to self-medicate, following the directions of your doctors is essential. Overdosing or forgetting to take your medication runs serious risks.
Some products can help, such as alarms and daily pillboxes. But certain people, such as those with dementia, can forget to take their pills entirely and will only be confused by the alarm or box. They will require a carer who can keep track of their intake.
At Tenura, we sell bottle openers that are grip-enhancing, so if it's the child lock/lack of grip that is stopping them from managing their medication, this nifty gadget could be a good investment.
Contacting and communicating symptoms with doctors is essential for prescribing correct medications. Notebooks can help record new symptoms, dosage, and expiration dates and can be a great tool to help with diagnosis and future prescriptions.
Writing shopping lists, putting aside savings, and budgeting properly is an important life skill. Some people need help in this area as having a lack of control over your finances considerably strains mental health.
Finance plays into another IADL, communication. Bills and spam can come through the post, and it can be challenging to distinguish between the two, especially for vulnerable people, who are more susceptible to scammer's tricks. It may be worthwhile for a carer to check over the person's mail prior.
Some people are forgetful, so setting up direct debits circumvents issues. Online banking allows individuals to access banking services all in one place, essential for those struggling with transportation, another IADL.
Finances can be a tricky subject to approach, but it's a serious topic that needs addressing. Luckily those struggling with IADLs are more likely to reach out as these activities tend to be less personal than ADLs.
We hope you can take some inspiration from this blog, including helpful tips and products. You can explore the full Tenura range via our website.
Above we have listed some solutions, but without talking to the person struggling with IADLs, you can't fully understand the best method of help, which is imperative when finding a suitable solution. We hope this blog has given you some good ideas. For more help on similar topics and exclusive product discounts, subscribe to the Tenura blog.
In this blog, we explore the importance of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and what they are. It's essential to get a clear understanding so you can better care for a patient or family member. Plus, we have rounded up some brilliant products that promote independent living by making ADLs manageable.
What does ADL stand for?
ADL stands for Activities of Daily Living, which comprises of five basic tasks required to live an independent and healthy life. Members of the population who have recently received surgery or have disabilities/a condition, such as arthritis, can struggle to complete daily tasks. They are accessed individually, allowing carers to detect areas where the client needs additional help.
What are the 5 ADLs?
- Personal Hygiene
A person must be able to keep a suitable level of hygiene to meet the standards of ADLs. A person may not meet their needs due to a disability. Some wheelchair users may struggle due to limited mobility, making tasks such as bathing tricky.
Another reason could be the side effects of the medication, causing depression. People with depression tend to disregard bathing. Those with depression usually have decreased energy levels, making bathing an overwhelming or neglected aspect of their life.
Personal hygiene extends beyond just bathing and encompasses brushing your teeth and hair, looking after your nails, feet, scalp, oral hygiene, and ear organ hygiene. There are many areas of our body we need to care for to make sure we stay healthy. Personal hygiene can help prevent the spread of diseases, so it's essential.
Not brushing your teeth can lead to bad breath, toothache, the loss of teeth, and even gum cancer.
There are products on the market that can aid with specific issues a person may encounter during these tasks. At Tenura, we have developed cutlery grips, an adaptive aid you slip cutlery or utensils like toothbrushes, combs, and other hygiene-related products into, to increase the handle's width. Thin handles can prevent those with limited dexterity in their hands from having proper control. The silicone structure of the cutlery grips is grip-enhancive.
From selecting clothes to putting them on, this task requires a variety of movement types. Lifting your arms and putting them through your shirt sleeves involves large mobility movements, whereas buttoning the shirt requires more finicky actions. For people with conditions such as arthritis, the maneuverability of limbs and hands is limited, making putting clothes on tricky. There are so many dressing aids to help with the different aspects of getting dressed.
Getting dressed shouldn't be a painful experience, and we realized that many of these dressing aids have thin metal handles, making them tricky to hold for those with limited mobility in their hands. But we have a solution. By cutting Tenura grip roll into strips and building up a thicker handle, you can make dressing aids more comfortable to grasp. Tenura grip roll is made from our grip-enhancing silicone, so your hands will not slide off the handle like they would with the use of the metal handle alone.
Being unable to change clothes or get undressed can affect other activities of daily living. Remaining in the same clothes for days would lead to poor personal hygiene and allow germs to breed, which could cause illness. Another affected daily living activity would be continence due to the inability to unbutton your trousers to use the toilet.
Children are a great example of the stages a person may be at when eating. Babies need complete assistance during the task, whereas toddlers have developed partial fine motor skills to hold cutlery and complete the actions required to transport the food from their plate to their mouth. Following this, at 5/6 years old, they can fully feed themselves. You need to evaluate your child's capabilities just as you do with persons in your care. Some people will require full assistance during meal times, whereas those who have some fine motor skills and the coordination necessary to move the food from the plate to their mouth may benefit from the use of adaptive products.
You can add Tenura cutlery grips to the handles of your eating utensils, such as your knife or fork, to increase the handle's width, making using cutlery comfortable as the utensils are easier to hold. They also are made from 100% silicone which gives them grip-enhancing properties, stopping the cutlery from sliding out of your grasp. We have children's cutlery grips for smaller hands.
Getting the right foods is essential to health. The body needs the correct nutrients to work effectively and fight off infection. Food also gives the body energy to complete other daily living activities.
Being able to go to the toilet and control your bowels is another essential daily task. A person may not be capable of controlling their bladder or can't physically move to the bathroom. Understanding the root problem can allow you to put things in place to help the individual.
Bathroom floors tend to be shiny and smooth, making getting on and off the toilet tricky as you can't get a foothold, but we have come up with clever ideas to help those struggling to use the toilet safely.
If a person struggles to get up from the toilet, the use of grab rails can be helpful. But you may find them uncomfortable to hold and not as grip-enhancing as you would like. By wrapping Tenura grip strips around the grab rail handle, you can improve both comfort and grip due to the soft yet grip-enhancing properties of the silicone grip strips.
The contour rug you have around your toilet can be made safer using a Tenura non-slip floor mat underneath. Place your Tenura floor mat under your bathroom rugs to add additional non-slip properties making the bathroom rug extra secure whilst keeping the aesthetic of your bathroom. The non-slip properties mean rugs won't slide but instead will provide a reliable surface to maneuver on and off the toilet.
Tenura floor mats have adhesive-like properties that help keep bathroom rugs in place. The floor mat sticks itself to the floor, preventing the rug from moving and allowing the person on the toilet to get a proper foothold without the risk of slips and falls.
If necessary, you can remove the floor mat, and upon removal, no residue will be left behind.
Please note that the Tenura silicone range loses its non-slip properties when wet.
Moving around, whether that's to go to the kitchen for food, or the bathroom, it's critical to health. A person may find their mobility is compromised following injury, surgery, or a medical condition. A person may have difficulty in certain areas. For some, they may require hoists around the house or live-in care. Others can get by with a simple Tenura non-slip floor mat that gives them grip and increased confidence when completing activities of daily living. Non-slip floor mats provide a foothold for the user, even on slippery floors. You can use them around the house, beside beds or sofas to help you maneuver safely.
It may be worthwhile installing Tenura non-slip bath stickers, which aid a person with mobility in bathrooms or areas frequently exposed to water. You can line a bath or shower's base with Tenura bath stickers. They apply best to smooth surfaces, providing the area is cleaned first with an alcohol-based cleaner (cream-based cleaners leave behind a powder residue that causes the stickers to lift). For more information, please read our application bath stickers blog.
Now you have a basic understanding of the products that can help patients or family members overcome the struggles associated with activities of daily living. We hope this blog has given you ideas to provide further support and find effective products for anyone in your care.
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