By detecting early functional decline, the scale can help nurses with discharge planning.
Overview: Acute illness or a worsening chronic condition can hasten functional decline in older adults. During hospitalization, reduced mobility and other factors may rapidly decrease an older patient's ability to perform activities crucial for independent living, and the effects might be permanent. The Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Scale assesses a person's ability to perform tasks such as using a telephone, doing laundry, and handling finances. Measuring eight domains, it can be administered in 10 to 15 minutes. The scale may provide an early warning of functional decline or signal the need for further assessment. For a free online video demonstrating use of this assessment, go to http://links.lww.com/A246.