What does this term “Activities of Daily Living” mean?
The term “Activities of Daily Living” or ADLs for short is a term used to describe the fundamental skills required to taking care for oneself independently, such as eating, bathing, and mobility. The term “Activities of Daily Living” was first coined by Sidney Katz in 1950.
According to the book “Activities of Daily Living” by Peter, ADLs are essential and routine tasks that most young, healthy individuals can perform without assistance. The inability to accomplish essential activities of daily living may lead to unsafe conditions and poor quality of life. The healthcare team should be aware of the importance of assessing ADL in patients to help ensure that patients who require assistance and are identified. This activity details the activities of daily living and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in assessing ADLs to enhance patient care and management.
The book further suggests that the ADLs are essential and routine tasks that most young, healthy individuals can perform without assistance. The inability to accomplish essential activities of daily living may lead to unsafe conditions and poor quality of life. The healthcare team should be aware of the importance of assessing ADL in patients to help ensure that patients who require assistance and are identified. This activity entails the activities of daily living and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in assessing ADLs to enhance patient care and management.
Assessment of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
The screening of ADLs is performed at two levels, namely Basic ADLs and Instrumental ADLs. The former is commonly referred to as just ADLs.
A. Basic Activities of Daily Living (or simply ADLs)
The ADLs are the basic self-care tasks that we initially learn as very young children. They are sometimes referred to as “Basic Activities of Daily Living” (BADLs). They are fundamental for self-care. The activities include:
- Dressing: Changing clothes
- Eating: Feeding own self
- Ambulation: Walking without assistance. If a patient needs a walker or holds walls or any other help, then they need help with this ADL.
- Transferring: Moving from one body position to another. This includes being able to move from a bed to a chair, or into a wheelchair; the ability to stand up from a bed or chair in order to grasp a walker or other assistive device.
- Toileting: Using toilet and wiping self without help.
- Hygiene: Bathing and cleaning self.
B. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)
These are the self-care tasks we usually learn as teenagers. They require more complex thinking skills, including organizational skills. They include:
- Shopping: Shopping for clothing and other items required for daily living.
- Housekeeping: Cleaning and home maintenance. This means cleaning kitchens after eating, keeping one’s living space reasonably clean and tidy, and keeping up with home maintenance.
- Accounting: Managing finances, such as paying bills and financial assets.
- Food preparation: Getting or preparing a meal on the table. It also covers managing medications, which covers obtaining medications and taking them as directed.
- Telephone: Managing communication, such as the telephone and mail.
- Transportation: Either driving or arranging other means of transportation.
How can we remember the ADLs?
You can use the mnemonic words to help you remember.
- How to remember ADL? Use the mnemonic word “DEATH“: Dressing, Eating, Ambulation, Transferring & Toileting, Hygiene.
- How to remember IADL? Use the mnemonic word “SHAFT“: Shopping, Housekeeping, Accounting, Food preparation, Telephone & Transportation.
Assessment Tools for ADLs
There are a number of tools to help care professionals assess the ADLs. The common tools as follows:
- ADLs – Katz Assessment Tool
- IADLs – Lawton Assessment Tool
Written by Tommy Tan