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Types of Activities of Instrumental Daily Living (IADL)

Updated: May 7, 2022

A closer look at the instrumental activities of daily living

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) are those activities that allow an individual to live independently in a community. It can be difficult for elders with disabilities to engage in their daily activities without assistance. These instrumental activities of daily living can include things like cooking, cleaning, shopping, and managing finances and many more.

Many elders with disabilities rely on support from family or friends to complete these activities, but sometimes those resources are limited. A number of programmes aim to help elders with disabilities access what they need, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Some elders use assistive devices to help them with their IADLs, such as wheelchairs or canes. Each individual's IADLs will vary depending on their personal needs and preferences. Some older people may need assistance with only one or two of the activities, while others may need assistance with all of them.

Types of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

  1. Meal Preparation: planning the meal according to the elderly diet plan, cooking the meal, storing and getting the groceries, also importantly safely using all the kitchen appliances and utensils.

  2. Housekeeping / Managing Household: cleaning the dishes, doing the laundry, cleaning and dusting the house, importantly maintain a clean and hygienic place.

  3. Answering the Phone Calls: making the home welcoming to others, answering and reverting to the mails and phone calls.

  4. Managing finances: Handling all the bank related documents and procedures, writing cheques, paying all the bills.

  5. Using transportation: Handling the commute to your doctor or to get groceries by self-driving or by arranging a cab service is required. Ability to commute through public transports is also suitable.

  6. Shopping: The ability to buy appropriate clothes and to dress up appropriately.

  7. Taking prescribed medications: Taking the right medicine at the right time and to refill the medicines without mixing them.


An activity of daily living (ADL) typically entails tasks like bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and eating. An instrumental activity of daily living (IADL), on the other hand, involves activities like grocery shopping, taking medicine as scheduled, and using the telephone.

IADLs are more complex and substantial than ADLs and can be more challenging to complete for the elderly lacking the necessary skills.


IADLs Function


Needs Help


Cannot Do



Using transportation



Meal Preparation

Answering the calls

Taking everything into account, instrumental activities of daily living are important for seniors to maintain their independence. It is vital to talk with a specialist on the off chance that you are encountering any trouble playing out these errands.

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