Activities of daily living (plus stop my librarian from retiring)

“Activities of daily living (ADLs) is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual’s place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both.” ______________________________________________________

Note: Above: Beginning of Wikipedia’s article on Activities of Daily Living . The remainder of the Wikipedia article is published below. Naturally, I will interrupt with interruptions labeled Comments.

For references:

Hammond CAPTION: The ugliest building on Penn State’s large and beautiful campus is Hammond Hall (left). Hammond houses the Engineering Library which, in my book, constitutes an Activity of Daily Living. I am encouraged by the efforts of library employees eager to stop the retirement of Bonie Osif, The Engineering Librarian. 

Back to Activities of Daily Living..  ______________________________________________________

“Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person, particularly in regard to people with disabilities and the elderly.” ______________________________________________________

CAPTION: O.K. I have disabilities and I am elderly, what can ADLs do for me?


“Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person, particularly in regard to people with disabilities and the elderly.  Younger children often require help from adults to perform ADLs, as they have not yet developed the skills necessary to perform them independently. ADLs are defined as “the things we normally do…such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure.” A number of national surveys collect data on the ADL status of the U.S. population.While basic categories of ADLs have been suggested, what specifically constitutes a particular ADL in a particular environment for a particular person may vary. Adaptive equipment or device may be used to enhance and increase independence in performing ADLs. ______________________________________________________ Library Comment: When I come overloaded on the basics and am dizzy about explaining their application within the architecture, engineering and construction community, I go to the engineering department library. I go to the big kahuna,  Bonny Osif. She makes things clear. She directs me to reputable sources. She exposes me to data banks about which I knew nothing. Now she is retiring. Stop her.


Back to  _____________________________________________________Basic ADLs

Basic ADLs (BADLs) consist of self-care tasks, including:

  • Bathing and showering (washing the body)
  • Dressing
  • Eating/feeding (including chewing and swallowing)
  • Functional mobility (moving from one place to another while performing activities)
  • Personal hygiene and grooming (including brushing/combing/styling hair)
  • Toilet hygiene (completing the act of urinating/defecating)

Although not in wide general use, one mnemonic that some consider useful is DEATH: dressing/bathing, eating, ambulating (walking), toileting, hygiene.


Comment: DEATH takes the prize as the most insensitive acronym ever. Especially considering the client/patients are elderly and some are disabled.

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Instrumental ADLs

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but they let an individual live independently in a community:

  • Housework
  • Taking medications as prescribed
  • Managing money
  • Shopping for groceries or clothing
  • Use of telephone or other form of communication
  • Using technology (as applicable)
  • Transportation within the community
  • A useful mnemonic is SHAFT: shopping, housekeeping, accounting, food preparation/meds, telephone/transportation.
  • Occupational therapists often evaluate IADLs when completing patient assessments. The American Occupational Therapy Association identifies 12 types of IADLs that may be performed as a co-occupation with others:[4]
  • Care of others (including selecting and supervising caregivers)
  • Care of pets
  • Child rearing
  • Communication management
  • Community mobility
  • Financial management
  • Health management and maintenance
  • Home establishment and maintenance
  • Meal preparation and cleanup
  • Religious observances
  • Safety procedures and emergency responses
  • Shopping


Comment: DEATH takes the prize as the most insensitive acronym ever. Especially considering the client/patients are elderly and many disabled. _

_____back to________________________________________________

Evaluation of ADLs

There are several evaluation tools, such as the Katz ADL scale, the Lawton IADL scale and the Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale. Most models of health care service use ADL evaluations in their practice, including the medical (or institutional) models, such as the Roper-Logan-Tierney model of nursing, and the resident-centered models, such as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

SO ENDS THE Wikipedia Article on Activities of Daily Living


Expect soon (I hope) accounts of my sojourns among ADL evaluation devices.

Expect, naturally the road turning suddenly, such as the following comments on the marital difficulties of Time McGraw and Faith Hill, two megastars in country music. Tim McGraw is the king of country music.

They have been married for 17 years. For years they were looked upon as the dream marriage. On June 16 the STAR which call itself “Number 1 for celebrity news” reported on their marriage difficulties. The front cover read:

“$135 million divorce

“Faith & TIm

Marriage from hell.”

It takes some doing going from a marriage from hell to a marriage in repair. That is what People Reports. A recent You Tube video shows them singing and smiling together.

As an admirer of each and an admirer of their widely reported marriage, I hope they find some joy.

Below is Taylor Swift singing Tim McGraw in honor of Tim McGraw. In a subsequent posting when you least expect it, I will be publishing Faith Hill singing This Kiss followed by a story.

What the country royal couple really needs are some good tools for evaluating activities of daily living.






Thank you for the article. We have a care home for 10 and truly the ones who live the longest stay interested in learning, reading, participating in activities and socializing. Also those who stay independent with their ADL’s live longest. Check out our website at http://www.assistedlivingmesaazfairbrookgrove.com________________________________________________

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