ADLs, or activities of daily living, are a set of basic self-care tasks that individuals must perform in order to meet their daily needs and maintain their independence. These tasks include activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, eating, and mobility.
In medicine, ADLs are often used as a measure of a person’s functional status, and can be used to assess the level of care that an individual may require. For example, a person who is able to perform all ADLs independently may be considered to have a higher level of functional independence, while a person who requires assistance with multiple ADLs may be considered to have a lower level of functional independence.
ADLs can also be used to assess the progression of certain medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, which can impact a person’s ability to perform these basic self-care tasks. A decline in ADL performance may indicate a worsening of the underlying medical condition.
In clinical practice, healthcare providers may use standardized assessments, such as the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living or the Barthel Index, to assess a person’s ability to perform ADLs. These assessments can help healthcare providers determine the level of care that a person may require, as well as monitor changes in functional status over time.
Overall, ADLs are an important aspect of daily life and are closely tied to a person’s overall health and functional status. The ability to perform ADLs independently is an important marker of functional independence and quality of life, and is an important consideration in medical care and treatment planning.