ADL stands for Activities of Daily Living and is used by insurance companies to determine policy prices. There are six ADLs:
Bathing and cleaning one’s body
Getting dressed by oneself
Mobility/transferring either by walking or using mechanical assistance to get from one place to another
Personal hygiene, including brushing teeth, combing hair, etc
Using the toilet independently
As people age, they require more assistance with daily activities. Eventually, a person may need to be placed in a nursing home. This usually happens when they are unable two perform two or more ADLs without assistance. At age 65 and over, estimates say that half of the people will require a nursing home or some form of care at their own home. Of that group, most long-term care stays will be for under one year. However, one-fifth will stay for more than a year. As the number of people requiring assistance increases, it increases insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare costs.
Determining a person’s ADLs helps insurance companies assess a person’s medical status and the kind of policy that most suits the person. ADLs also help in determining the type of long-term care that may be needed and the appropriate health coverage.
Being able to perform all six ADLs without any assistance means a person can live independently. Once they are not able to perform two out of the six ADLs, physicians or caregivers may determine the person needs long-term care, such as a nursing home. ADLs are important because they allow someone to carry out vital daily tasks without the need for assistance. These tasks include driving, grocery shopping, taking medication, and the use of public transportation, among other needs.
When it comes time to determine the proper long-term care, families often help with these decisions. Options include in-home care, nursing home, or assisted living community. Many choose for in-home care as moving to a different location is a higher impact decision.
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