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ADL assisted living software is a type of long term care software designed to help facilities track residents’ activities on a daily basis, monitor their progress, and help them reach their goals. By utilizing information about seniors’ activities of daily living (ADLs), nurses and other assisted living staff can create customized care plans for each resident. This ensures that these seniors receive the assistance they need to perform daily functions.

ADL assisted living software can be used to create checklists and reports that are shared with families. An ADL assisted living checklist is a list of activities that can be used to help seniors in assisted living live more independently. It can be used by caregivers, family members, or professionals who work with seniors to create a care plan or to assess an individual’s needs. The checklist can also be used to monitor an individual’s progress in achieving independence.

Why is monitoring ADLs so important?

A young nurse going through an ADL assisted living checklist with an assisted living resident.
Tracking ADLs plays a big role in keeping residents healthy and safe.

ADLs play a big role in keeping residents healthy and safe. If a senior isn’t able to eat properly, they may become malnourished. And if a senior isn’t able to bathe themselves, they may be at a higher risk for developing skin infections. Residents who struggle with ADLs will receive care that must be documented in software capable of tracking assisted living care, like Experience Care’s intuitive Service Tracker, which streamlines billing processes for assisted living facilities by allowing teams to seamlessly document services instantly at the point of care.

 ADLs determine an individual’s functional status, which serves as a metric for programs and services related to the elderly. For instance, Medicare considers ADL assessment when deciding whether a person qualifies for nursing home care, and Medicare Advantage plans take into consideration the need for assistance with ADLs. These are significant because ADL monitoring tracks how much elderly people can participate in activities that they enjoy, a good indicator of their quality of life. 

Long-term care insurers even use the inability of a senior to perform ADLs as a trigger for paying out on a policy, with the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) also considering ADLs as a qualification factor.

What Are the 6 ADLs for Long Term Care?

A question often asked by those not familiar with ADLs is, what are the 6 ADLs for long term care? In the process of answering that, we must also distinguish between ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living).

ADLs in assisted living refer to the basic self-care activities that long term care residents must do to live independently. The six ADLs for long term care are:

A nurse assisting an elderly resident with their ADLs, having understood what are the 6 ADLs for long term care
The six ADLs for long term care are bathing and showering, continence, dressing, mobility, feeding and toileting.
  1. Bathing and showering: This refers to the ability to bathe and maintain personal hygiene.
  2. Continence: Here, we are referring to a senior having complete control of their bladder and bowels.
  3. Dressing: Can a senior choose appropriate clothing and dress?
  4. Mobility: This ADL assisted living activity refers to a senior’s ability to move from one place to another. Specifically, their ability to move from a bed to a chair and back again.
  5. Feeding: This focuses on a senior’s ability to feed oneself or take food from their plate and put it into their mouth to chew and swallow without assistance.
  6. Toileting: This refers to a senior’s capability to use a toilet and clean themselves without assistance.

IADLs, meanwhile, are activities that help residents live independently and manage their living spaces. This includes things like:

  • Cleaning/housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Money management
  • Medication management
  • Shopping
  • Meal preparation
  • Using electronic devices (smartphones, PC, tablets, and other devices.)

While both ADLs and IADLs are important for independent living, there is a key distinction between the two. ADLs are basic self-care activities that an assisted living resident must do in order to survive, while IADLs are activities that help residents to live independently and manage their personal living apartments.

Contact us here if you would like to test drive our user-friendly ADL assisted living software.

How Long Term Care Software Helps With an Assisted Living Checklist

As we discuss an assisted living checklist, it is also worth mentioning the three types of ADL assisted living assessments commonly used in long term care.

A resident receiving help with their ADLs, thanks to the use of ADL assisted living software in their facility.
There are three types of ADL assessments: The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living, The Barthel ADL Index and The Functional Independence Measure (FIM).
  • The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living: This index is the most commonly used ADL assessment for activities of daily living examples in long term care and assisted living. It rates independence on a scale from zero to six, with six being total independence and zero being total dependence.
  • The Barthel ADL Index: This index is another commonly used ADL assessment in long term care and assisted living. It rates independence on a scale from 0-20, with 20 being total independence and 0 being total dependence.
  • The Functional Independence Measure (FIM): The FIM is a measure of functional status and disability. It rates independence on a scale of 18-126, with 126 being total independence and 18 being total dependence.

Having discussed what are the 6 ADLs for long term care, one can use long term care software to help with an assisted living checklist by providing an electronic way to track and store an ADL assessment. This is important because it provides a way for staff to quickly and easily see how a resident is progressing over time. Additionally, it can help to identify areas where a resident may need more assistance.

An example of such software is the electronic Kardex, an interdisciplinary communication tool that gives a complete picture of an assisted living resident’s story. From code status to language, interventions, continence, personal eating, sleeping preferences, and the assistance required from nurses and aides, this electronic Kardex greatly enhances the documentation process and makes charting easier for long term care facilities.

Some additional features of an electronic Kardex include:

  • An easy-to-read summary screen
  • Daily alerts
  • Resident histories
  • Easy to fill form tabs
  • Quick access to the point of care software
  • Easy to understand worklist

Such intuitive clinical software can even help with job satisfaction and retention, something that Brian Free, a clinical IT specialist at Chatuge Regional Nursing Home, learned by moving his team to software specifically designed for long term care.

The Importance of ADL Assisted Living Software

As the baby boomer generation ages, the demand for assisted living and other long term care services will continue to increase. This means that there will be an increasing need for ADL assisted living software that facilitates communication between staff members, stores important resident information, and tracks a resident’s progress over time.

Without ADL assisted living software, long term care facilities would be forced to rely on paper records, which are easily lost or damaged and often illegible, resulting in medical errors. ADL assisted living software helps to solve these problems by providing an electronic way to store and track ADL assessments. The best assisted living software is that which is specifically designed for assisted living settings and, ideally, has a Service Tracker module. 

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Elijah Oling Wanga