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Background: Assessment of the activities of daily living or ADLs, the basic tasks of everyday life and instrumental activities (IADLs) needed to live independently in the community encompasses the social, psychological and biological factors affecting the physical and psychological well-being of the elderly. Although a number of studies have delved into ADLs and IADLs in the elderly, such studies among the local population are sparse. Hence, this study was conducted on the factors affecting ADL and IADL in the elderly population residing in the rural field practice area in southern India. Methods: This was a community-based descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 310 elderly people aged ≥ 60 years residing in the rural field practice area (Ittamadu, Primary Health Centre) of Raja Rajeswari Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore. The objectives of the study were to study the factors affecting ADL and IADL in the elderly population. The research participants were asked to rate their degree of independence in doing six distinct ADL tasks, which included the physical domains of mobility, continence, eating, and bathing. Eight domains were taken into consideration while measuring IADL: making phone calls, going shopping, preparing meals, cleaning, doing laundry, travelling, taking care of one's own medicine, and managing finances. All the data collected were compiled, entered into a Microsoft Excel worksheet and analyzed using SPSS [Statistical Package for Social Sciences] software v.21.0. Descriptive statistics and the chi-square test were used as required. Results: Out of 310 elderly people, the majority (267, or 86.13%) were independent in their physical ADL, while the remaining 43 (13.87%) were dependent on one or more activities. Difficulty in all the activities of daily living was higher among females compared to males.36 (11.61%) were totally dependent on others for all the IADL and 73 (23.54%) were totally independent. In all the IADL, except preparation of meals and managing laundry, the elderly who were above 80 years old were requiring more assistance compared to the elderly who were 70-79 years old or 60-69 years old. Difficulty in performing activities of daily living was greater in illiterate 30(21.43%) compared to literate 13(7.65%).The ability to perform IADL was better among 60-69 years compared to 70-79 and above 80 years. The ability to perform all, 1-3 and 4-7 IADLs was better among those who were living with their spouse and children or grandchildren compared to those who were living alone, with their spouse only and others. Conclusion: The study of the incidence and factors affecting ADL and IADL in the elderly population aids in a better understanding of the needs of the ageing population, which would help in formulating better care plans and policies that aim at mitigating adversities in this vulnerable group.
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)
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