Access Your Caregiver Content
28 Reasons Seniors Sell Their Home
Dave Halpern's Caregiver Readiness Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Book a Meeting with Dave
Why is This Website FREE?
Questions That Seniors Ask About Real Estate
Need to Sell a Home?
Back to Blog
Recognizing signs of decline in aging loved ones

The Importance of Noticing Signs of Decline in Aging Loved Ones, By Dave Halpern, Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

adls assisted living community programs family help home health aides Oct 11, 2023

Recognizing The Need For Change

  • Often the decline of an aging loved one is a slow and almost unnoticeable process.
  • The decline can be a combination of
    • Physical
    • Cognitive
    • Emotional

Why is it so important to take notice of the signs of decline?
Because at some point the cumulative decline may require changes such as


  • In-home assistance
  • Modification of the home for safer aging in place. A skilled Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) can help you evaluate modifications needed to age-in-place. In Louisville, Call Dave Halpern (502) 664-7827
  • Moving to a home that is more suitable for safer aging in place
  • A family member moving in with the parents to provide care
  • The parents moving into the adult child’s home for closer observation and care
  • Moving to a retirement living facility where many of the activities of daily living are done for them or with them

Recognizing  Decline

As you pursue knowledge about caring for an aging loved one, you will encounter the concept of ADL’s, or “Activities of Daily Living.”

These are the tasks of everyday life.

ADLs include;

  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Getting into or out of a bed or chair
  • Taking a bath or shower
  • Using the toilet
  • Preparing meals
  • Managing medication
  • Managing money
  • Shopping
  • Doing housework
  • Using a telephone

Early Recognition of Decline

  • You can use the list of ADLs to much quicker observe and understand types of decline that may be worrisome.
  • It will also help you and family members develop plans of care for your loved one before the situation turns into a crisis.

Learning how each basic ADL affects an individual to care for themselves can help determine whether a patient would need daily assistance.

It can also help the elderly or disabled people to determine their eligibility for state and federal assistance programs. This is the case in Louisville, KY, and in cities and states throughout the country.

Basic ADLs

The basic ADLs include the following categories:

  • Ambulating: The extent of an individual’s ability to move from one position to another and walk independently.
  • Feeding: The ability of a person to feed oneself.
  • Dressing: The ability to select appropriate clothes and to put the clothes on.
  • Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe and groom oneself and maintain dental hygiene, nail, and hair care.
  • Continence: The ability to control bladder and bowel function
  • Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.

Instrumental ADLs

The instrumental ADLs are those that require more complex thinking skills, including organizational skills.

  • Transportation and shopping: Ability to procure groceries, attend events, managing transportation, either via driving or by organizing other means of transport. In Louisville, KY, and other cities alternative methods of transportation are available to replace independent driving.
  • Managing finances: This includes the ability to pay bills and managing financial assets.
  • Shopping and meal preparation, i.e., everything required to get a meal on the table. It also covers shopping for clothing and other items required for daily life.
  • Housecleaning and home maintenance. Cleaning kitchens after eating, maintaining living areas reasonably clean and tidy, and keeping up with home maintenance.
  • Managing communication with others: The ability to manage telephone and mail.
  • Managing medications: Ability to obtain medications and taking them as directed.

The IADL differs from ADL as people often begin asking for outside assistance when these tasks become difficult to manage independently. Source:

For more information about caregiving professionals in Louisville, contact Dave Halpern at (502) 664-7827 or click here for 7 easy ways to contact Dave Halpern.

Don't miss out on more information about senior living and caregiving!

FREE Registration to 100+ articles and videos. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.

Don't miss out on more information about senior living and caregiving!

FREE Registration to 100+ articles and videos.