Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): The Basics
Links to Posts that Discuss Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Are At the End of this Post
I had not heard about activities of daily living or ADL’s until a year or two ago after a family member had a stroke. Essentially ADL’s are the things we all do day in and day out throughout the course of a single day. They include tasks such as dressing, toileting, bathing, walking, grooming, preparing food and eating, and managing medications. Check out this link for a list of ADL’s.
As we age, the activities of daily life gradually become harder to accomplish on our own, and they consume more and more of our day. Increased support, often provided in assisted living environments, enables individuals to continue to live quasi-independently while getting assistance with tasks that are challenging. Assisted living often provides a smaller living environment which helps make ADL’s easier and provides care on an increasing scale as a person needs more and more help.There is no particular age when people lose the ability to handle their own activities of daily living. Rather there is an alignment of issues, especially health and mobility which can become less vigorous as people age. Small things like a fall or big things like a stroke or other serious illness can have a dramatic impact on an individual’s ability to handle ADL’s. If you think about how a young child masters specific tasks, losing the ability to do activities of daily living is a bit of a reverse process.