Vancouver Home Health Care Agency

ADL Assistance Evaluation Tools

ADL Assistance Evaluation Tools

There are a number of tools used in the evaluation of ADL’s, or Activities of Daily Living. These tools measure a person’s need for assistance, how much assistance is needed, and what type of specific assistance should be administered.

The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living

This assessment tool was created to measure an older person’s need for assistance, and it uses six main points in its measurements: bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, transferring, or remaining continent. It was created 45 years ago, but it is still a useful tool for nurses to determine a person’s level of necessary care.

A nurse observes the patient and takes notes, using a 6-point scale. A person demonstrating independence in a task receives a one, a person who needs help receives a zero in each category listed above. The categories are added, producing a number between one and 6. The nurse then makes recommendations based on the results of this six point scale.

The Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale

This is a more comprehensive chart that evaluates a person’s ability past the six points listed above. The person is assessed in their use of a phone, handling finances, doing laundry, and other tasks of daily living often taken for granted by most of us. This scale measures 8 domains and can be completed within 15 minutes. The person receives up to four points in each category; some categories may remain at zero. The categories are: ability to use telephone, shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry,

mode of transportation, responsibility for own medications, and ability to maintain finances. The scores are added, and the person’s ability is assessed. The document is completed via interview style by a nurse.

The Barthel Index

This index began in inpatient rehabilitation, but its reliability helped it find its way into other ambulatory settings. It is an index of 10 different points, including feeding, bathing, grooming, dressing, bowels, bladder, toilet use, transfers, mobility, and stairs. A patient receives a score between 0-100, and the nurse makes recommendations based on this score. This tool has been proven to be as useful as the others mentioned.

The tool used by a nurse depends on the preferences of the caregivers and the medical professionals involved. All three tools have been proven to be effective in measuring a patient’s need for ADL an IADL assistance. The tools may be used independently or together as an effective means of measurement and assessment.

If you would like to talk more about ADL’s and how they are assessed, contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency today. At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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