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. Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person, particularly in regards to people with disabilities and the elderly.1 Younger children often require help from adults to perform ADLs, as they have not yet developed the skills necessary to perform them independently.
ADLs are defined as "the things we normally do...such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure."2 A number of national surveys collect data on the ADL status of the U.S. population.3 While basic categories of ADLs have been suggested, what specifically constitutes a particular ADL in a particular environment for a particular person may vary.
Basic ADLs (BADLs) consist of self-care tasks, including:4
- Bathing and showering (washing the body)
- Bowel and bladder management (recognizing the need to relieve oneself)
- Eating (including chewing and swallowing)
- Feeding (setting up food and bringing it to the mouth)
- Functional mobility (moving from one place to another while performing activities)
- Personal device care
- Personal hygiene and grooming (including washing hair)
- Toilet hygiene (completing the act of relieving oneself)
Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but they let an individual live independently in a community:6
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Managing money
- Shopping for groceries or clothing
- Use of telephone or other form of communication
- Using technology (as applicable)
- Transportation within the community
A useful mnemonic is SHAFT: shopping, housekeeping, accounting, food preparation/meds, telephone/transportation.
Occupational therapists often evaluate IADLs when completing patient assessments. The American Occupational Therapy Association identifies 12 types of IADLs that may be performed as a co-occupation with others:4
- Care of others (including selecting and supervising caregivers)
- Care of pets
- Child rearing
- Communication management
- Community mobility
- Financial management
- Health management and maintenance
- Home establishment and maintenance
- Meal preparation and cleanup
- Religious observances
- Safety procedures and emergency responses
Most models of health care service use ADL evaluations in their practice, including the medical (or institutional) models, such as the Roper-Logan-Tierney model of nursing, and the resident-centered models, such as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
- Assisted living
- Care of residents
- Global Assessment of Functioning
- Long-term care
- Long term care insurance
- Nursing home
- Occupational therapy
- Transgenerational design
- "Activities of Daily Living Evaluation." Encyclopedia of Nursing & Allied Health. ed. Kristine Krapp. Gale Group, Inc., 2002. eNotes.com. 2006.Enotes Nursing Encyclopedia Accessed on: 11 Oct, 2007
- MedicineNet.com Medical Dictionary
- National Center for Health Statistics
- Roley SS, DeLany JV, Barrows CJ, et al. (2008). "Occupational therapy practice framework: domain & practice, 2nd edition". Am J Occup Ther 62 (6): 625–83. PMID 19024744.
- "Activities of Daily Living". 2011-08-26.
- Bookman, A., Harrington, M., Pass, L., & Reisner, E. (2007). Family Caregiver Handbook. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Katz ADL scale
- Lawton IADL scale
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