Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

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Definition: Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

In a person’s life the activities which are performed as a part of normal course of day such as eating, sleeping, putting on cloths etc. are defined as ADLs. It may so happen that due to ageing or some other reason a person is not able to perform these activities. The in ability to perform these activities can be permanent or temporary.


Activities of daily living (ADL) are basically the things which we normally do in a daily routine. ADLs are comprised of activities which we do not need assistance for or activities which we are self-sufficient to do.

For Example, Feeding is something which a normal human does every day. We don’t need any sort of training or skill set to do that, this is just something which we learned in early childhood. Same goes for other activities such as Bathing, Talking or Putting on cloths etc.

If a person is not able to perform ADLs, they will need help either from other humans or machines. Once understanding the ADLs it’s not difficult to assume that once attaining a mature age the ability to performing ADLs decreases with increasing age and are most prevalent among elderly peoples, also found among younger people.



The measurement of ADLs, as what to be included and what not to, is done majorly by doing surveys. There have been many researches and surveys as to what activities should be included in ADLs. Although there is some consensus, yet due to different interpretation of the definitions and ways in which the survey is asking about ADLs there is a great deal of variation.



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