The Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (IADL) is an appropriate instrument to assess independent living skills (Lawton & Brody, 1969). These skills are considered more complex than the basic activities of daily living as measured by the Katz Index of ADLs (See Try this: Katz Index of ADLs). The instrument is most useful for identifying how a person is functioning at the present time and for identifying improvement or deterioration over time. There are 8 domains of function measured with the Lawton IADL scale. Historically, women were scored on all 8 areas of function; men were not scored in the domains of food preparation, housekeeping, laundering. However, current recommendations are to assess all domains for both genders (Lawton, Moss, Fulcomer, & Kleban, 2003). Persons are scored according to their highest level of functioning in that category. A summary score ranges from 0 (low function, dependent) to 8 (high function, independent).
The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing based on: Lawton, M.P., & Brody, E.M. (1969). Assessment of older people: Self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. The Gerontologist, 9(3), 179-186.