IADLs and ADLs: What’s the difference?

November 22, 2023
hobbies and activities for seniors

In daily life, we often perform various activities that contribute to our overall well-being and independence. Two key categories encompass these activities: ADLs and ADLs. But what are they?

Well, if you’re looking for home care assistance, understanding the difference between these two categories is essential as it directly impacts our ability to live independently. This article will explore their main difference and what each entails. So, if you’re considering home care in Atlanta, this information will be helpful for you. Keep reading!

ADLs vs IADLs: Mastering the Essential Activities of Daily Living!

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are two categories that describe the skills we need to live independently. Here’s what each entails:

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

  1. The ability to eat oneself and maintain proper nutrition.
  2. Bathing or showering independently.
  3. Being able to choose appropriate clothing and dress oneself.
  4. Using the toilet independently.
  5. The ability to walk, transfer from one position to another, and move around the house.
  6.  Maintaining personal hygiene, including grooming, oral care, and skincare.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

  1. Handling personal finances, including budgeting, bill payment, and managing bank accounts.
  2. Navigating transportation systems, using public transportation, or driving.
  3. Grocery shopping, meal planning, and food preparation.
  4. Managing prescription medications, adhering to dosage instructions, and scheduling refills.
  5. Cleaning, tidying, and maintaining a safe and organized living environment.
  6. Utilizing technology and devices for communication, such as smartphones or computers.


The main difference between ADLs and IADLs is that ADLs encompass the basic tasks necessary for self-care and daily survival. In contrast, IADLs involve more complex activities that require cognitive and problem-solving skills to function independently in society.

Azalea Home Care: Meeting the Needs of Those Requiring Assistance!

In a world that values independence, it’s crucial to maintain control over our daily lives despite challenges. Everyone deserves empowerment and confidence in tackling essential tasks, and our professional elder care providers are ready to help if needed!

At Azalea Home Care, we provide reliable elder care services designed to meet the individual needs of our clients. Our compassionate and trained caregivers offer personalized support with ADLs and IADLs, promoting independence and enhancing quality of life. Our home care assistance and holistic approaches to care ensure that not only their physical needs but also their emotional and social well-being are addressed. 

Contact us today for home care in Atlanta, and let us give you a hand!


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