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Activities of Daily Living

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are defined as "the things we normally do... such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure." Adaptive equipment and devices may be used to enhance and increase independence in performing ADLs.

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Basic ADLs consist of self-care tasks that include, but are not limited to:

  • Functional mobility, often referred to as "transferring" (moving from one place to another while performing activities)
    • For most people, functional mobility is measured as the ability to walk, get in and out of bed, and get into and out of a chair; the broader definition above is useful for people with different physical abilities who are still able to get around independently.
  • Bathing and showering (washing the body)
  • Dressing
  • Self-feeding (not including cooking or chewing and swallowing)
  • Personal hygiene and grooming (including brushing/combing/styling hair)
  • Toilet hygiene (getting to the toilet, cleaning oneself, and getting back up)

One way to think about basic ADLs is that they are the things many people do when they get up in the morning and get ready to go out of the house: get out of bed, go to the toilet, bathe, dress, groom, and eat.  These items may also be commonly known as Durable Medical Equipment (DME).

Popular Brands: Drive Medical | Fabrication Enterprises | Freedom Distributors | Invacare