What are the Top 12 activities of daily living(ADLs)?

Activities of daily living(ADLs) refer to those functional actions that a person is able to do by himself. These are the functions that help to test the level of independence of a person. It was formulated by Sidney Katz and these activities are generally used as a parameter to define the functional status of the person.

After someone meets an accident, it becomes important to evaluate his post-accident status. It gives a hint about the recovery stage the person is in. This his why ADL and their assessment is important.

It is surprising to note that we can also use it to assess the learning disability in children. With time if the basic functioning of the children is not yet developed that it is a tell-tale sign of some worry.

In the elderly, the activity of daily living is a parameter that helps us to judge the deteriorating condition of their health. The rate at which there is a restriction on their ADLs, it shows the onset of age on them, accordingly. 

An important aspect of the importance of the ADL is that failure to conduct the ADLs lead to:

  • Poor living conditions, resulting from poor health and hygiene.
  • Reduced standard of living resulting from failure to meet basic needs. 

Recognition of ADLs:

Recognition of loss of ability to perform ADL is important. Medical professionals like the doctors and nurses can generally identify the same. It is the reason why we suggest you to have a regular appointment with medical professionals. 

It is important to have a functioning ADL since they help in meeting the personal goals of the person. Independent living for sustenance is very important, thus the importance of ADL is profound. 

Loss in ADL can result from the onset of:

  • Certain chronic illness with an aggravating condition
  •   Loss of metabolism due to age
  •    Failure of complete recovery post-accident

Understanding the Activities of daily living(ADLs):

To understand the ADLs, it is important to know about the categorization of the ADLs. The ADLs are split further into twelve different sections. The sections, along with their activities are as follows:

1. Maintenance of personal cleanliness and hygiene:

It includes the basic activities that ensure that personal health and hygiene become important aspects of life. It becomes important to maintain clean body functions. Activities include bathing, oral care, health care, and regular grooming. 

2. Manging the continence:

Ensuring that the bladder functions properly is an important aspect of healthy living. With an improperly functioning bladder, the daily activities face obstruction, accordingly. It also includes the intake of 8 glasses of water on a daily basis and the inclusion of roughage in the diet for proper bowel movements.

3. Ability to dress by themselves:

One of the major functions during daily life includes dressing and covering the naked body parts by themselves. It is also covering the ability of a person to select the best dress for the perfect occasion, thus maintaining the social decorum. 

4. Ability to feed themselves:

Food is an integral part of the day-to-day activities. The ability to feed oneself is a sign of independence of a person. 

5. Changing the body posture and stance:

Ambulating is the scientific term for the ability to change the body position. It is observe that with age, this ability reduces, yet the independence of this ability is also dependent on the muscular strength of the body. 

Additional list for the ADLs to be aware of:

Activities of Daily Living are further extended to include the more complex parts of life. The above list constituted the physical abilities of life. Yet it is important to understand the effects of aftershocks after an accident that compromised the life of a dear one. This is where the psychological impact of an event plays a vital role in performing ADLs. 

6. Ability to cope up with the different aspects of companionship:

Companionship is a fundamental part of life. It is not specific to any particular age. The ability to cope up with companionship and the grief of losing over the same shows the mental health of a person. It becomes important since it is a source of positivity. 

7. Shopping needs and fulfilling them:

The art of shopping and fulfilling grocery needs is important. If the shopping needs arise, the person should be able to meet the need by themselves. Going around and procuring their required items is an important phase of shopping needs fulfillment that needs to be met. 

8. Knowing to prepare your own meals:

Understanding the importance of home-cooked food is important. What becomes important is feeding yourself and planning the required steps to prepare the meal. It also includes the ability to shop the items needed for food preparation. 

9. Cleaning up your home and performing the chores:

The need for a clean and tidy home is just similar to keeping yourself clean. A tidy home ensures that you don’t give rise to germs and bacteria in your home and maintain the aesthetic surrounding of your home. 

10. Understanding and taking your medications regularly:

Knowing the medications that you should take and taking them consistently is important. The ability to take the medications by yourself is an important aspect of daily living. 

11. Having a clear communication:

The need for proper communication Is very important since it helps in bridging social needs. Being able to express your needs to the people and the understanding to comprehend others’ needs becomes important. Being able to receive phone calls and making the house hospitable to guests is also another part of social communication.

12. Ability to manage your own finances, independently:

Having the ability to know the financial needs and understanding your finances better is a part of ADL. Being able to manage the same and paying timely bills, proper investments, and savings become an integral part of managing your own finances.

Tools for assessing the ADLs:

The major tools for assessing the ADLs are through the personal reports or the reports from the medical professionals. Often, the use of tools for assistance in order to perform any of the above activities is an indicator of failure to perform the ADLs. 

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