Activities of Daily Living


Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily “self-care activities” within an individual’s place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both.  Generally, the ability or inability to perform ADLs serves as a measurement of the functional status of a person of any age.

The things we can do without assistance versus the things we need assistance doing is important to recognize, accept and seek help by a professional caregiver in order to decrease the risk of losing independence all together.  The risk of losing our independence all together can be due to injury or activity which could have been avoided if assistance was available.  The degrees of “help or assistance” can vary from “just a little bit of help needed” to “moderate help needed” to “full assistance needed” in meal preparation, walking, driving, bathing, taking medications and other activities of daily living.

Basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) consist of self-care tasks, including:

  •    Personal Hygiene and Grooming
  •    Functional Transfers, e.g. Getting Out of Bed
  •    Bathing
  •    Incontinence Care
  •    Dressing and Undressing
  •    Walking or Using a Wheelchair
  •    Feeding Oneself

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but they let an individual live independently in their community and in their home:

  •    Light Housekeeping
  •    Appointment Scheduler
  •    Meal Preparation
  •    Using Technology (as applicable)
  •    Medication Reminder
  •    Pre or Post-Holiday Decoration or Clean-Up
  •    Transportation
  •    Care of Pets (Feeding and Walking)
  •    Managing Money
  •    Joyful Companionship and Leisure Activities
  •    Laundry
  •    Special Home Projects
  •    Shopping for Groceries or Clothing
  •    Personal Errands
  •    Telephone Use and/or Follow-Up Calls