I’ve had some new insights about the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), the activities that we do each day that allow us to maintain an independent life. These tasks include things like driving, balancing a checkbook, cooking, and using the computer. From my perspective, after working with a parent who was ill with stroke-induced dementia, I’d also add exercising.
In 2009, when my husband’s mother was quite ill, I wrote a post called ADLs and IADLs: What’s the Difference? I wrote this post because I had not heard of these two types of activities — measures of a person’s independence. At the time, as I observed my mother-in-law’s decline, I associated them with aging — and aging only.
Now I know a bit more, and I realize that any of us can lose, temporarily, our capacity for IADLs — the ability to perform those all-important tasks of independent daily living.
I’ve written about the my retina problems over the past two years. What has surprised me at various points — unexpectedly — is the loss of my ability to perform many of the IADLs. At times, due to various treatments, I’ve been unable to use a computer, drive, exercise, or even cook efficiently, and I’ve not been at all happy about loosing my cherished independence. OK, at times I’ve been resentful. On another level, however, my experience offers me a bit more perspective on the adult child-aging parent relationship. Continue reading