Activities of
Daily Living

Activities of daily living (abbreviated ADL) are activities
that one performs in the course of everyday living such
as eating, dressing, brushing one's teeth, going to the
bathroom, or bathing. Activities of daily living can be
impaired by many causes, such as physical accidents
and acute or chronic physical and/or mental illnesses.
This impairment can be permanent or temporary. The
impairment can be improved by teaching the patient new
ways to accomplish the activities or by relearning the
activities. This is often accomplished through physical
therapy and/or occupational therapy. Occupational
therapy is a health profession designed to develop,
recover, or maintain activities of daily living and work
skills in patients.

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A patient is encouraged to be able to perform activities of daily living so that he/she can
be as independent as possible. To make sure that a patient can correctly perform
activities of daily living, checklists are often used during a patient's stay in the hospital. If
the patient cannot correctly perform activities of daily living, arrangements need to be
made for the patient to receive assistance from others, such as family members or
visiting home nurses.

Activities of daily living are often measured with the Functional Independence Measure
(FIM) scale.