What is instrumental activities of daily living?

What are instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)?

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are things you do every day to take care of yourself and your home. They are not basic self-care tasks, such as eating or bathing. IADLs require more complex planning and thinking.

Some examples of IADLs are:

  • Using the phone. This includes answering and calling others.
  • Shopping for groceries.
  • Planning and making your meals.
  • Managing your medicines. This includes refilling them when needed and taking them correctly.
  • Cleaning your home.
  • Getting around, either by car, taxi, or public transportation.
  • Managing money and paying bills.

Sometimes aging and health problems make it hard to do complex tasks. If you are having trouble with tasks, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ideas that may help.

To measure what kind of help you may need, your doctor will ask how well you are able to do IADLs. Tell your doctor about any tasks that you are having trouble doing. This is an important first step to getting help. And when you have the help you need, you can stay as independent as possible.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.