The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living (referred to as the Katz index or the Katz ADL) is a tool for assessing an older adult’s baseline ability to bathe, dress, use the toilet, transfer, and remain continent, and feed her- or himself. It’s also used for evaluating changes in response to illness.
A second part of ADL’s is dressing. This is assessed to understand if the older person gets clothes from closets and drawers and puts on clothes and outer garments complete with fasteners and can tie shoes.
Detailed questioning can assist the geriatric care manager in making the best recommendations. If the family reports that the client is wearing soiled clothes, it may be that the person has a visual impairment that is preventing him or her from seeing that the soiled clothes should be changed. However, it may also be that, if the person has dementia, he or she is forgetting to change clothes and might just need reminders or need to have a caregiver lay out the appropriate clothes to wear.
If a person can get dressed unassisted except for shoes and socks, recommending that the person use adaptive devices such as a long shoehorn will enable the person to continue to be independent. Older people who need hands-on assistance because they are unable to dress themselves because of physical problems, such as Parkinson’s disease or cognitive loss, will need a referral to a home health aide if family members are not available.