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What is the Difference Between ADL and IADL?

Difference ADL and IADL

IADL stands for instrumental activities of daily living. These routine day-to-day activities are somewhat more complex than ADLs but also affect the person’s ability to live and age independently. 

Seven IADLs are:

  • Transportation and shopping – how much the person can go around and do shopping without help.
  • Mental support and companionship – support and help needed to help the person keep a positive mindset.
  • Managing a household – tidying up, cleaning, doing laundry, removing trash, etc.
  • Preparing meals – this aspect includes planning and preparing meals as well as shopping and storing groceries.
  • Managing medications – getting the prescriptions filled taking medications on time, and keeping them up to date.
  • Managing finances – managing bank balances and paying bills on time.
  • Communicating with others – interacting with others in person or via mail, text messages, or phone calls.

The assessment of the person’s ADLs combined with IADLs makes an assessment tool that allows you to create a strategy for care and support for your loved one.  


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