The Most Important Activities of Daily Living for Independent Living

I love this blog article on ADL’s, Assistance of Daily Living – that term is an industry term, and a lot of folks don’t understand it. Plus, when they have Long Term Care Insurance or Veteran’s Benefits, there policies talk about “ADL’s” and they don’t understand what that means.

We want to make sure we are educating the public on these terms. So, we hope you enjoy this article and it helps you navigate your journey for finding the perfect place for your loved one.


Old age and disability tend to make essential activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing or cooking difficult to execute. As a result, seniors and disabled individuals might end up needing help to complete normal daily activities so they can live safely and comfortably.

If you desire to provide proper care for your aging parent, you need to familiarize yourself with key activities and skills required to promote independent living. Below, you will discover the ADL checklist to assist you in accessing your loved one well-being.

What Are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Activities of daily living are essential tasks people perform throughout their lives to live independently. Most young people and healthy individuals can handle these tasks with ease. However, old age brings about issues that make it hard to complete daily self-care tasks. The issues include broken bones, loss of muscle tone, and medication side effects, among others. In this case, long-term care we provide at Pomeroy, becomes a viable option to help fulfill activities of daily living and keep healthy and safe.

Here’s a list of six essential activities of daily living required to manage basic needs:


Young and healthy people enjoy the ability to walk independently from one point to another. They can get out of bed in the morning and begin their day without any significant major set’s backs. But that’s not the case with seniors! Most of them require the help of a walking frame or cane for extra support while walking.

When you or your loved one face a mobility challenge, some additional support may come in handy. In senior communities like Pomeroy, staff can assist residents with regular movements and exercises so they can maintain their ability to walk as they age.


Showering and maintaining personal hygiene helps you feel relaxed, healthy, refreshed, and positive about your looks. Taking a shower, brushing teeth, nail care, and combing hair are essential parts of our daily routine. Therefore, it makes sense to look at these activities when assessing if the elderly are able to take care of themselves.

If a loved one neglects bathing habits and personal hygiene because of old age, consider providing help. In-home care providers can help seniors who struggle to get in and out of the bathtub, clean their hair, toweling, etc.


Being able to use the restroom without help is a clear sign of someone’s capacity to live independently. However, most seniors often face difficulty navigating the bathroom. Some might need to visit the restroom frequently, while others might need physical help to get on and off the toilet seat. At this point, your loved one may need some assistance.

Alternatively, you can move your loved one to a senior community like Pomeroy, where the bathrooms are equipped with unique features to provide safety.


Dressing is not only about selecting and putting on the right clothing; it also involves dressing appropriately for the day’s activities. Independent and healthy seniors can easily determine the clothes to wear based on weather patterns or activities and get them on hassle-free.

However, some might face some difficulties, especially when handling fasteners and buttons on their clothes. If you notice this, consider helping your loved one. This way, you can maintain his overall appearance.


Feeding involves getting food from the plate to your mouth and being able to chew and swallow. Everyone deserves food rich in nutrients for good health and energy throughout the day. Nevertheless, old age issues like Alzheimer’s, degraded hand-eye coordination, and shaking can make feeding quite difficult.

In this case, daily assistance from our caregivers here at Pomeroy might come in handy to help ensure your loved one eats healthily.


Continence is the ability of an individual to control his bladder and bowel functions fully. Elderly or disabled individuals can lose control over these functions and might need some assistance.


Understanding how ADL affects a loved one able to live independently can help you determine if they need regular assistance like we provide. For more information about ADLs and how they relate to your elderly loved one, contact us at

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.