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Comfort Keepers Evansville Podcast Episode 3: ADLs vs. IADLs and the Roles of In-Home Caregivers

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Evansville, Indiana.


Kristi 0:01

Welcome to the Comfort Keepers Evansville Podcast where we elevate the human spirit. Here's your host, Kristi Gurule.

Jeremy 0:11

Hello. Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode number three of the Comfort Keepers Evansville Podcast. I'm your cohost and producer of the show Jeremy Wolf. And I'm here of course with your host, Kristi Gurule. Kristi, how're you doing today?

Kristi 0:26

Morning? Hello, everyone.

Jeremy 0:29

Good. Good morning, we were just talking about how school is getting underway and got a lot of exciting things on the horizon. So should be interesting year moving forward. Looking forward to it, of course. So, what I thought we would do today, I know on the last episode, we talked a little bit about some signs that you can look for in your elderly loved ones that it might be time to get some help for them, and then also how to open up that conversation, which I thought was very informative and useful. What I'd like to do today, if you could, maybe a little start, start with some basics here, when we're talking about activities of daily living, commonly known in your community as ADLs versus instrumental activities of daily living IADLs, I was hoping you could explain a little bit about the distinction between these two things. And then we can go from there.

Kristi 1:27

Slightly. So, when anyone asks, over the phone, hey, I, I'm looking for mom, dad, their services. And I keep seeing ADLs and IADLs. We never speak to any of our prospects, any of our clients ever using this terminology because it gets confusing. But truly what it comes down to, these are things that you and I do on a daily basis. And we don't think about it, these are the things that as we generally age, they become a little bit more difficult for us. So, activities of daily living, these are the most basic things, and we usually learn them when we are children. So, things such as going to the restroom, getting yourself dressed in the morning, walking without the need, you know of assistance, dressed already set dressing, but using using any of our personal hygiene things that we need to do every day, that's tivities of daily living, very important for anyone to be home and independent, for them to survive eating even instrumental activities of daily living, they require more hands on more complex thought processes. So, this would be like washing your laundry. So now it's taking your clothes that you've been wearing, it's operating a machine and it is getting yourself cleaned with your laundry, I'm cooking and meal prep, this is also something that we don't learn as a child, but it's something that we still need to do to feel independent and to be healthy. And, you know, again, in our home, so I ADLs take a little bit more hands on a little bit more training as we learn them initially. And then again, as we age, we tend to need a little bit more assistance. It's also includes transportation, so a lot of our elderly don't feel as comfortable driving, or maybe they just have a medical condition that doesn't allow them to drive. So again, that's something that we would come in and help with. So that's considered an IA do.

Jeremy 3:28

Okay, so speaking of that, you just said that's something that you would come in and help with. I'm curious. What are some of the things that in home care professionals such as yourself, can assist with versus some of those things that maybe you can assist? Because I know you guys are an actual medical, you're not doctors, right? You're not trained medical professional. I know there's a distinction between what you can and can't do. Why don't you talk a little bit about 2 3:28 that for us?

Kristi 3:55

So first, I'm going to go back to that Comfort Keepers. We're a non-skilled agency. Okay. So, each healthcare agency will have different licensing that allows them to do different things. So being distinguished, as far as a skilled or non-skilled is very important. So, I'm speaking as a non-skilled in-home agency, we cannot replace what a nurse would do. Okay, so some of the most common things that I'm asked when I'm talking to families and or patients themselves, can I help with treating a wound? Can I bandage it? Can I wrap it, can I find your sport or any other kind of cleaning agent? And the answer's no, she's not. But I always like to say what we can do. So, in that exact example, what we can do is we can provide your loved one with all the materials for them to do it themselves. The act of actually doing it is not even simple thing is a paper, right? We believe we need a band aid; I can open the band aid and I can hand it to you but you have to apply it yourself. Um, that is something that we can do. Another thing that I'm often asked is can you help mom to curb blood pressure? Well, technically, no, I can't. But what I can do is if mom has a, an electronic blood pressure cuff, I can give it to her, he can put it on, she can push the start button, and I can help report it. She has a blood pressure booklet that she needs to take to her doctor to show where she's taking her blood pressures throughout the day, I can help record and remind, hey, time to do our blood pressure readings. The same thing comes with our diabetic loved ones, I cannot know I can't take their sugar levels for them, I can remind them that, hey, first time in the morning, let's go ahead, get your glucometer out, go ahead and take your sugar levels. And again, I can help record them. So, we're aiding in the things that they need to have done, I can't do those things for them. Those are those are probably the top three that I get asked about. And it's not that no, we absolutely won't help with it at all. But this is the parameter that that I can I can work within.

Jeremy 6:11

Okay, make makes a whole lot of sense. So, I'm curious, do you ever work at imagine there are cases where you do in conjunction with home nurses? So, a family will say hey, look, I want to have the companionship element that you that you bring to the table, but at the same time they want a medical professional on premises? Do you guys ever find yourself in that situation?

Kristi 6:33

Yeah, I It's actually one of the best partnerships that we could provide a family. So, when a skilled nursing agency comes in, and they are in fact taking care of the wounds, they are administering medication, that's another really big one that I get asked about, they're doing all of those things, and then they're leaving, they're not helping your parents around the home with their, again, their house cleaning, they're not taking them any place, they're not taking them to a doctor's appointment. So yes, it's very, very helpful to have what I call like the care team in place with your family, you have your non skilled and skilled and but it is not a battle of the agencies at all, we all have a specialty and we work alongside each other. So, there's a lot of great communication. And we really that you get the best of both worlds. And it just eliminates that stress that ultimately sits on the shoulders of my family.

Jeremy 7:27

Yeah, for sure. And I know we talked about this in a previous episode at some point about how what you guys are doing is really a wonderful alternative to just taking your loved one and putting them in an assisted living facility and uprooting them from their home. And we had talked about how, you know, a lot of people just take that jump, right, they go as far as they can go by themselves. And they say it's time to send mom and dad over to an assisted living facility which can be traumatic. So, you're really bringing that experience to them in their home and where they're comfortable. So, they can live out as long as they can, in their own environment and not have that big, big dramatic shift to

Kristi 8:05

another Exactly. And if you get the services to come to you in the comfort of your home, then everyone, everyone's more comfortable. It isn't a huge life altering change that happens. And often it happens quite literally overnight. Um, we just see that people maintain their independence and their overall well-being and health, their purpose for life and this season. They well-being just thrive they thrive when they're able to stay in their home with the help that they need.

Jeremy 8:33

Yeah, for sure. I wanted to ask also, going back to what we talked about in the last episode signs to look for that it could be time to get some help for a loved one. Are there any specific tasks that that in your mind kind of rise above others when it comes to the 2 8:33 ADLs and Id ideals that if you notice these types of tasks, your loved one having an issue with that those are like warning signs that it might be time to seek outside help?

Kristi 9:02

Yes, absolutely. So, one of the ones that I think is the hardest to talk about is when family member approaches and just realizes that their mom or dad or their loved one is not as clean and fresh and vibrant as they normally are. This is really can be an indicator of a lot of different things. But if there has been a fall, people fall in their home, and they're afraid to say anything. It's just this huge stigma that oh my gosh, I've fallen in my home and now I'm not going to be able to live in my home. I hear that every single day. But if they fall, then now they're nervous. They're nervous about taking a shower, getting in the bathtub, because guess what, what if they fall again, that's a fear and it's often a fear that's not verbalized. And so, what do they do? They sacrifice their personal hygiene. So now if we're just not as clean and fresh, its mom's doing her hair and makeup every day and you see her and you're like, this doesn't look well, right? It definitely could be because he's not able or she's not. She's not comfortable bathing herself. And that is a huge AVL that we will absolutely come in and help with. That has to be one of the biggest ones. But I need to mention the Second. Second is when it comes to someone's nutrition. So, we have people who, again, routine, we this grew up with our loved ones, and they're making meals, they're known for a casserole dish, or whatever it is, they this are famous for it, then you're coming over and you're seeing food in the refrigerator spoiled. You're seeing expiration dates, you're seeing a lot of maybe quick instant meals, and you're like, Man, this isn't what you know, mom or dad would ever live on. And then you realize that it's just taking them a lot of extra time to be up and around the kitchen to prepare healthy, balanced meal. And so, they're going for what's quick and easy. And again, you're just you're seeing that spoilage. So now you have a family member who's not as healthy as they can be. And again, it's something that we absolutely could come in and help them with their grocery shopping with their meal prep, freezer prep, so that we've got something easy, just a reheat that's nutritious, and not just instant. So that's another big thing.

Jeremy 11:17

Yeah, and I'm going to continue to bring this topic up as a common theme throughout these discussions, because it's so incredibly important, cuz people can hear that once and then brush it off, like, oh, you know, we're human beings, we have a tendency to see something wrong and be like, Oh, my sure it's okay. Or you mentioned it to somebody like I'm sure there'll be okay, right. But it's so important to catch these things as early as possible, so that you can open that window for assistance. Before the problem. Yeah. steamrolls. And gets cruz.

Kristi 11:50

Exactly, yeah. So alright, is there an easy way to start a conversation gently versus all at once, then it's information overload a lot of decisions at once, and it can become scary for the loved one and stressful for the family. So that's what we try to avoid.

Jeremy 12:05

Yeah. Christie, anything else you'd like to share? Before we wrap up about these topics?

Kristi 12:12

Well, I really think that you've led me into being able to describe it even more. But ultimately, conversation that doesn't happen is usually the conversation that hindsight, 2020 You wish you had? So again, you are you want the best for your family. So, you see anything you can absolutely call any agency to see, is there anything else that you can help mom or dad with specifically, a lot of times, like I'm doing a very generalization of what it is that we do, we can specifically help family members with very, very specific tasks. You just have to call have to call an app, we can have that conversation. But the important thing is just to have the conversation in the first place.

Jeremy 12:56

All right, sounds good. Kristi, always a pleasure seeing you you're, as I always say you're a breath of fresh air. You're a beautiful force in this world. So, keep doing, keep doing what you're doing. Keep So, up the good fight. And to all our listeners out there. Thank you for joining us, and we'll look forward to seeing you on the next episode of The Comfort Keepers Davie podcast. Everyone have a wonderful day. Bye bye.

Thanks. Thank you for listening to the Comfort Keepers Evansville podcast. For more information,  call (812) 370-4956