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Resources for the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment based
Proactive and Personalised Primary Care of the Elderly

Assessment of Functioning

A multidimensional  holistic assessment of an older person which considers health and wellbeing and

formulates a plan to address issues which are of concern to the older person ( and their family and carers when relevant ) ,

arranges interventions according to the plan and then reviews the impact.

ADLs and IADLs


Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) represent key life tasks that people need to manage, in order to live at home and be fully independent.

Difficulties with ADLs and IADLs often correspond to how much help, supervision, and hands-on care an older person needs. This can determine the cost of care at a facility, whether someone is considered “safe” to live at home, or even whether a person is eligible for certain long-term care services.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

These are the basic self-care tasks that we initially learn as very young children.

They are sometimes referred to as “Basic Activities of Daily Living” (BADLs).


They include:

  • Walking, or otherwise getting around the home or outside. The technical term for this is “ambulating.”

  • Feeding, as in being able to get food from a plate into one’s mouth.

  • ressing and grooming, as in selecting clothes, putting them on, and adequately managing one’s personal appearance.

  • Toileting, which means getting to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.

  • Bathing, which means washing one’s face and body in the bath or shower.

  • Transferring, which means being able to move from one body position to another. This includes being able to move from a bed to a chair, or into a wheelchair. This can also include the ability to stand up from a bed or chair in order to grasp a walker or other assistive device.

For each ADL people can vary from needing just a little help (such as a reminder or “stand-by assist”) to full dependency, which requires others to do the task for them.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

These are the self-care tasks we usually learn as teenagers.

They require more complex thinking skills, including organizational skills.


They include:

  • Managing finances, such as paying bills and managing financial assets.

  • Managing transportation, either via driving or by organizing other means of transport.

  • Shopping and meal preparation. This covers everything required to get a meal on the table. It also covers shopping for clothing and other items required for daily life.

  • Housecleaning and home maintenance. This means cleaning kitchens after eating, keeping one’s living space reasonably clean and tidy, and keeping up with home maintenance.

  • Managing communication, such as the telephone and mail.

  • Managing medications, which covers obtaining medications and taking them as directed.

Grandmother properly cleaning fresh, uncooked produce under a running tap

This Read More page is an extension of

Assessment of Functioning

Back To : Assessment of Functioning

The Assessment of Funtioning is one of 8 domains of the  Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)

Back To : Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment

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