In the frigid winters of the 1940’s and early 50’s , when I was a child, my mother hung sheets on a line, from our second floor apartment. In the numbing New Jersey days, she hauled them in frozen as the bay next door. She was filled with a funny joy ,that I now understand, when she finally got a dryer.
Even with a dryer, if she were alive today at 92 she would have a difficult time doing laundry. Maybe, her washing day would be as hard as lugging those frozen sheets by pulley on the line into our little apartment.
Another IADL is laundry. Like housekeeping, laundry tasks are subject to sex role and support (housekeeping) staff practices. ( my father did not do laundry) It is important to note actual behavior and health issues or disabilities that interfere with the behavior, if any. Any changes in habits should be followed to learn what triggered and/or caused the behavior change. Also note the person’s general appearance. Is the person wearing soiled clothing? Is the person reported to wear the same clothes day in and day out? When touring the house, note whether there are signs of neglect, heavily soiled towels in the bathroom, for example. Where is the laundry room? Is it down a flight of stairs in the basement? Does that pose a risk or difficulty if the person must carry laundry baskets back and forth? Is the laundry in another building or outside in the garage? In the winter, are there environmental difficulties or risks involved in doing the laundry?Older people could still be hanging out their laundry and it could still be frozen ,as could the ground. For example, does a person with unsteady gait or arthritis in the knees need to go down snow- or ice-covered steps to get to the laundry facilities?