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What are ADLs? - Part II

What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?

Activities of Daily Living or ADLs is a term used by healthcare professionals to refer to the basic self-care tasks an individual does on a day-to-day basis. These activities are fundamental in caring for oneself and maintaining independence.


An individual's ability or inability to perform ADLs is often used by health professionals as a way of measuring an individual’s functional status, especially that of older adults or those with disabilities.


Basic ADLs, sometimes referred to as BADLs, are self-care activities routinely performed which include, but are not limited to: Functional mobility, which includes the ability to walk and transfer in and out of a chair or bed. Essentially, it's the ability to move from one place to another as a person goes through their daily routines:

- Personal hygiene, oral care and grooming, including skin and hair care

- Showering and/or bathing

- Toileting, which includes getting on/off toilet and cleaning oneself

- Dressing, which includes selecting appropriate attire and putting it on

- Self-feeding


One way to look at basic ADLs is to think of them as the activities a person does when they get up in the morning preparing to leave the house and those they do regularly day in and day out. As a person ages, ADLs slowly become more difficult to accomplish independently and gradually take more time to complete. Certain health issues, such as a stroke, or accidents, such as a fall, also affect a person’s ability to accomplish ADLs, sometimes dramatically. SeniorLiving org

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