What are Activities of Daily Living?

In the senior care industry, the phrase ‘activities of daily living’ refers to all the basic and essential daily tasks a person must carry out to live well and stay healthy. Some examples of activities of daily living include brushing teeth, showering, using the bathroom, transferring in and out of bed and preparing and cooking meals. If you have started to consider senior care for an aging loved one, you may have already assessed their ability to perform these vital tasks. Equally, when you begin your search for residential assisted living in Hendersonville, senior care providers will inquire about how your relative is coping with activities of daily living.

Why are Activities of Daily Living Prioritized in Senior Care?

Activities of daily living form a strong foundation upon which a person can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, if a senior is struggling to carry out these tasks, their wellbeing will inevitably be compromised. Professional caregiver support in TN with activities of daily living can effectively reduce a senior’s chances of experiencing discomfort, injury or illness, while improving their overall quality of life. Let’s take a look at five important ways caregiver support can improve quality of life for seniors in residential assisted living.

1. Increasing energy levels.

When activities of daily living become difficult for aging seniors, it can be a huge drain on energy resources. Tasks like using the toilet, bathing, cooking, eating, brushing teeth and hair and getting in and out of bed must all be done daily (or even multiple times each day). If any one of these activities of daily living start to require huge amounts of time and effort, it’s easy to see how life can become exhausting. With caregiver support, seniors are relieved of the immense effort that simply getting through the day can become. In turn, they are able to use precious preserved energy to enjoy hobbies, leisure activities and the rich social life they deserve.

2. Reducing risk of injury.

Reduced mobility is a common and often debilitating issue faced by aging seniors. Declining mobility truly affects every facet of life, and can also impact a person’s ability to carry out activities of daily living. For example, a lack of mobility may make getting in and out of bed more difficult, which could then put a senior at a heightened risk of experiencing a fall. In residential assisted living, professional caregivers are highly trained to support seniors with their mobility, helping residents avoid preventable injuries that can drastically reduce independence, comfort and quality of life.

3. Facilitating greater independence and autonomy. 

Many seniors and their family members worry that moving to residential assisted living will result in a loss of autonomy. On the contrary, senior care aims to provide a carefully tailored level of support that will allow seniors to retain as much of their valued independence as possible. In many cases, moving to residential assisted living may even increase a senior’s ability to live independently. For example, if an aging senior resides in their own home, design features like low bathtubs, uneven surfaces and steep staircases may prove impossible to cope with alone, whereas in residential assisted living, spaces are built with aging individuals and reduced mobility in mind. As a result, a senior may be much more capable of remaining physically independent in residential assisted living than in their own home. Professional caregiver support aims to empower seniors to stay as independent as is safely possible at all times.

4. Preventing illness with excellent nutrition. 

If a senior is having difficulties in sourcing, preparing and cooking food, they may become vulnerable to malnutrition, excessive weight loss and a range of subsequent health issues. As well as being provided three nutritious meals and snacks each day, seniors in residential assisted living can benefit from caregiver support with the physical aspects of eating. Many aging seniors who have suffered a stroke or have a condition like dementia find it difficult to grasp cutlery, chew or swallow. With patient and compassionate caregiver support, seniors are able to get the most nutritional value, satisfaction and energy from each meal. 

5. Increasing comfort, confidence and freedom. 

If a senior starts to struggle with the maintenance of personal hygiene, it can take a huge toll on their confidence. For example, if they are dealing with incontinence, they may be reluctant to leave the home to socialize, run errands or take part in beloved hobbies. In turn, this could lead to issues like isolation, loneliness, depression and a reduced quality of life. In residential assisted living, seniors can receive dignified caregiver support with personal care tasks like using the toilet, showering, brushing their teeth and getting dressed. Safe in the knowledge that they are clean, well-groomed and have constant support on hand, seniors are able to enjoy the retirement they deserve in comfort and confidence. What’s more, with improved personal hygiene, they will also be less vulnerable to common physical health issues like skin rashes and urinary tract infections.

If you have noticed your parent or loved one struggling with activities of daily living, it might be time to have a conversation about how residential assisted living could help. For more information about how we assess, prioritize and address activities of daily living to improve the quality of life of our residents, give us a call or arrange a personalized tour today.

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