Activities of Daily Living that May Require Assistance

Performing activities of daily living (ADLs) can increase independence for older adults, allowing them to age in place. While there are many seniors who can perform ADLs without assistance, other aging adults may need help with everything from bathing to cooking, mobility, and more. As a family caregiver, you must learn what your aging loved one requires assistance with and how to step in without compromising their independence or safety.

Bathing and Dressing

As adults age, these ADLs become more challenging for different reasons, such as anxiety, muscle weakness, and decreasing memory. Seniors may experience mental and physical discomfort, making them shy away from receiving help with bathing or dressing. However, family caregivers need to find ways to ease the discomfort so they can keep their loved ones adequately bathed and dressed.

As you step in to help your loved one, learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, and alter their bathing and dressing tasks accordingly. For example, if your loved one has difficulty standing, add a bench to the shower or encourage them to take baths. Doing so could make personal hygiene less stressful and give your loved one more confidence.


Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Corio by Institute on Aging (IOA), a leading home care San Francisco agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Meal Prep

Reducing the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions is something caregivers need to help their loved ones with, and it begins with healthy eating. The foods your loved one eats daily impact his or her brain, weight, sleeping habits, and energy levels. When preparing meals, avoid using saturated fats, sodium, and sugar in the dishes.

Incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy seafood options, and plant-based dishes in your loved one’s meals. To make mealtimes even more enjoyable, turn them into social outings with your loved one and their friends or other family members.

Taking Medication

If your loved one has memory limitations, you’ll likely need to help with ordering prescriptions and providing reminders to take the medications. For example, if they cannot drive, picking up prescriptions could be a regular responsibility, and you may need to ensure your loved one has the food and other necessities that may need to accompany some medications.

Try to use the same pharmacy for all of your loved one’s prescriptions. Create a list of the dosage times for each prescription and the effects each has on your loved one. These notes can be shared with your loved one’s primary care physician, who will determine if the medication needs to be altered or changed altogether. Developing a daily medication routine is essential, as is using pill boxes and other methods to separate, label, and keep the prescriptions well organized. 

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their day-to-day responsibilities. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs overnight home care, Corio by IOA can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.


Regardless of whether your loved one is healthy or living with a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, depression, heart problems, or mobility issues, you need to encourage socialization and physical activities in their daily life.

Stepping in could mean you alter the activities based on your loved one’s limitations and strengths. For example, you could take your loved one to an exercise group with a few classmates the same age, offering the ability to socialize and work out in a less crowded environment, which continues to boost their mental, physical, and emotional health.

For many families, hourly home care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Corio by IOA, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call today at (415) 750-4111.