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Activities of Daily Living

Activities of Daily Living Synonyms: ADLs The ability of a patient to function independently in the community is determined by their ability to perform certain activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs are divided into two categories: basic ADLs and instrumental ADLs. Basic ADLs = feeding, bathing, dressing, and toileting. Instrumental ADLs = food shopping, food preparation, banking, laundry, housework, and use of public transportation. After hip fracture the vast majority of patients require assistance in performing ADLs. Only 20% to 35% of patients who were independent in ADLs before fracture will regain their prefracture ADL independence. Factors predictive of recovery of function in ADL are younger age, absence of dementia or delirium in nondemented patients, and a strong social network. (Koval KJ, JAAOS 1994;2:141)

Basic ADLs (tasks required for daily self-care activities. )

  • personal hygiene
  • dressing
  • feeding oneself
  • voluntary urinary and bowel control
  • ambulation

Instrumental ADLs  (not required for fundamental functioning but allow an individual to live independently)  (Lawton MP,  Gerontologist 1969;9:179)

  • housework
  • meal preparation
  • managing finances
  • shopping
  • telephone use (Lawton MP,  Gerontologist 1969;9:179)


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