What are the Activities of Daily Living?
Activities of daily living (ADLs) are fundamental tasks required to independently care for oneself. These include grooming, dressing, toileting, mobility, feeding, and bathing.
Understanding the basics of ADLs can allow you to effectively plan care for loved ones. ADLs can also provide you a glimpse at their overall well-being.
Here’s a closer look at each of them.
Transfer and mobility refer to one’s ability to independently ambulate. This includes standing from a sitting position, as well as getting in and out of bed. It also refers to one’s ability to walk safely from one place to another.
Regardless of the mechanical assistance needed, transfer refers to independent mobility. For example, if a person uses a wheelchair but can move and enter/exit it without assistance, then they are capable of independent mobility and transfer.
As basic as it sounds, feeding refers to one’s mechanical ability to safely and independently feed themselves. This includes being able to safely swallow and utilize utensils independently.
For example, a person who can independently grab a bowl of soup and sip it shows they are capable of feeding themselves.
Dressing involves being able to select clothing and put it on without difficulty. This also includes the ability to undress oneself.
For people with manual dexterity issues, zippers and buttons can pose issues. Similarly, it may be difficult for some people to lift their arms and pull a shirt over their head.
Personal hygiene involves self-care tasks such as bathing, grooming, cutting nails, shaving, or any other measures related to hygienic maintenance. This also includes dental hygiene and the ability to brush their teeth on a daily basis without assistance.
Continence is the ability for a person to control their bladder and bowel functions. In particular, this could relate to the ability to refrain from going to the bathroom while away from home.
Similar to continence, toileting refers to one’s ability to independently use the restroom; however, toileting also refers to one’s ability to get on and off the toilet, as well as clean oneself afterward.