Activities of Daily Living for Better Health of Elderly
November 20, 2020
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) is a term often used in the medical field, especially in the elderly care service. This article discusses a few things we should know about ADL and the need to make it easy for an elderly person.
Understanding ADL in Detail
ADL usually refers to self-care activities in a person's daily life, and it speaks how independent an elderly person is to manage them all by themselves. It is also described as the routine activities people do in their lives from a young age daily, such as eating, dressing, grooming, and using the toilet. The term ADL is mostly used by professional caregivers since it helps them identify the level of support needed by seniors in various areas.
Many of the daily activities might seem easy for a lot of young people, but not so with the elderly - some of them might be unable to function easily like they used to.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
The most basic activities of daily living include feeding, washing, toileting, dressing, mobility, and transferring.
It refers to one’s ability to feed all by oneself after preparing the food. Elderly people with cognitive or physical decline are more prone to losing this ability over time. The reason for this can be a decline in motor or swallowing functions. Along with this, they are also likely to experience dietary and nutritional challenges like forgetting to eat food and loss of appetite.
Washing refers to the ability of a person to wash or clean their face and body in the bath independently. It also includes his/her ability to get in and out of the shower all by themselves. Though this seems like a simple task, it can also be tiresome and dangerous for older adults. The elderly ones are prone to getting cold easily and the chance for them to experience a loss of balance or unsteadiness is higher as they age. Seeking the help of a caregiver can prevent them from falling and getting injured - it makes the process stress-free for them.
Toileting is the ability of a person to get to, and out of the toilet after using it properly and clean oneself afterwards. This also means putting on undergarments like diapers and surgical appliances by themselves if necessary. As a person grows older, they may lose control of their bowel functions and bladder. Therefore, they will need to use diapers.
Falling often causes disabilities in functioning. Th elderly people are more prone to falls if they go for toileting unaccompanied.
Dressing refers to one’s ability to choose the clothes for them to wear and putting them on without assistance. It also includes securing and removing braces and medical or surgical appliances they use.
Managing one’s self appearance can be hard for the elderly. They lose their physical ability due to various chronic health conditions such as stroke, arthritis, dementia, and more. This is where relying on an in-home caregiver for assistance becomes necessary.
Functional ability often refers to a person’s ability to sit, stand, walk, etc. It refers to one’s ability to move easily from one place to another on level surfaces without seeking assistance. Getting into and out of the toilet, sitting and getting up from couches, going up and down the stairs, etc. are some of the mobility-related activities in the daily lives of elderly people.
Transferring is very similar to functional mobility and people use it interchangeably.
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