The Home Instead Blog

At Home Instead we are passionate about caring for seniors and those with disabilities. Furthering our mission, Paul, one of our owners, made this blog to help educate, connect, and assist people involved in the senior care industry as well as to help those looking for care.

Please feel free to reach out to our office for questions, to inquire about service, or to chat about senior care!

img 4715

ADL's vs IADL's

As we advance in age, key life tasks that we used to do with ease can become more challenging.  In some cases, we cannot do them anymore by ourselves without some form of assistance.  The amount of assistance needed varies by each person.  Physical limitations and cognitive limitations can hold us back from living our best life.

We breakout key life tasks into 2 major categories.  They are Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s).

What are ADL’s?

Activities of Daily Living.  These are things such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming.

What are IADL’s?

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.  These are things such as shopping, accounting, food preparation, and transportation.  They are a more complex sets of skills we need in order to live independently. 

What are the 8 ADL’s

  • Eating
  • Bathing or showering
  • Grooming
  • Walking
  • Dressing
  • Undressing
  • Transfers
  • Toileting

What are the 5 IADL’s

  • Shopping
  • Housekeeping (or housework)
  • Accounting (or managing money)
  • Food preparation
  • Telephone/Transportation

What are the differences between ADL’s and IADL’s?

Both ADL’s and IADL’s refer to key life tasks that need to be accomplished daily. ADL’s, or activities of daily living, are more basic tasks that are essential to independent living. IADL’s, or instrumental activities of daily living, are more complex tasks that are still a necessary part of everyday life.  They require more thought and more complex decision making then an ADL.


At Home Instead, our Care Professionals have been extensively trained in the classroom and out in the field to help our clients with ADL’s and IADL’s so that we can enhance their lives and the lives of their families.  Home Instead Care Professionals are passionate, dedicated, and well prepared to meet the needs of our clients.

If you’d like to learn more, please call our LaPorte office at 219-326-1082 or our Plymouth office at 574-206-4341 to speak to one of our team members.

Hydration and Seniors and Why It’s So Important

Hydration is a very important aspect in the care of our seniors.  Severe dehydration can result in accidents and injuries that may result in going to the hospital and/or a skilled nursing facility.  I speak of this specific thing from experience with my own Dad who became severely dehydrated while still living alone.  He became weak and passed out on the kitchen floor.  He sustained injuries that resulted in going to the hospital and then rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility.

Dehydration is a common and serious condition in older adults.  Severe dehydration can lead to confusion, weakness, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bedsores in bedridden patients, and other serious conditions. Drinking enough fluids helps the body digest food, eliminate waste, regulate temperature through sweating, and maintain blood pressure.

So what is dehydration?

According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don't replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.

Anyone may become dehydrated, but the condition is especially dangerous for older adults.

Older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies and may have conditions or take medications that increase the risk of dehydration.

This means that even minor illnesses, such as infections affecting the lungs or bladder, can result in dehydration in older adults.

Dehydration also can occur in any age group if you don't drink enough water during hot weather — especially if you are exerting a lot of energy during physical activity.

You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.

What signs to look for in identifying dehydration?

  • Dark yellow and strong-smelling pee.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Feeling tired.
  • A dry mouth, lips and eyes.
  • Passing urine less often than usual

Here are the top signs of dehydration in seniors:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • An inability to sweat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fatigue

Can dehydration cause a stroke?

Dehydration causes your blood to thicken, making flow to the brain difficult. When your blood tries to get through blocked blood vessels, a stroke can occur. Studies show that those who are well hydrated when they suffer a stroke have a greater chance of a better outcome.

How to stay properly hydrated

Hydration can come in many forms.  The most obvious is drinking water.  The recommended daily intake of water for seniors varies, but six to seven, 8oz. glasses seems to be the most common recommendation.  However, if you’re loved one likes other things to drink, they can receive hydration through drinking milk, smoothies, green tea, or juice for example.

If your loved one has trouble drinking fluids, try including water-rich foods with every meal. These include cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes and celery. Soups, broths and stews are also a good way to boost your fluid intake, especially in the colder weather.

And if you see signs of dehydration discuss this with your loved one as well as their doctor.  Remember, severe dehydration requires medical attention.