What Are Activities Of Daily Living, And How Do They Apply To Long-Term Care?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

What Does ADLS Mean

ADLS stands for Activities of Daily Living Scale. It’s a measure used in healthcare to assess an individual’s functional status, especially regarding their ability to perform routine tasks.

Activities Of Daily Living

Types of ADLs

  1. Personal Hygiene: Bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care.
  2. Dressing: Choosing appropriate attire and being able to dress and undress oneself.
  3. Eating: The ability to feed oneself, including food preparation if it’s part of the individual’s routine.
  4. Maintaining Continence: Mental and physical capacity to use a restroom, including controlling bladder and bowel function.
  5. Toileting: Getting to and from the toilet, using it properly, and cleaning oneself.
  6. Transferring/Mobility: Moving from one place to another, for instance, from the bed to a chair, and standing or sitting without assistance.

Importance of ADLs

  • Assessment Tool: ADLs are used by healthcare professionals to assess a person’s functional status, especially in elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Care Planning: Understanding which ADLs a person struggles with helps in creating a personalized care plan.
  • Insurance Evaluations: In long-term care insurance, ADLs are often a factor in determining eligibility for benefits.

Application in Long-Term Care

  1. Assessment of Needs: ADLS is used to evaluate which daily activities a person can perform independently and where they need assistance.
  2. Care Planning: Determines the level and type of long-term care required, whether in-home, assisted living, or nursing home care.
  3. Monitoring Progress: Regular assessment of ADLS helps in tracking the improvement or decline in a patient’s abilities, adjusting care plans accordingly.
Activities Of Daily Living Ltc

Role in Long-Term Care Insurance

  1. Eligibility Criteria: Insurance companies often use ADLS to determine eligibility for long-term care insurance benefits. The inability to perform a certain number of ADLS tasks may trigger the benefits.
  2. Benefit Decisions: The level of difficulty an individual has with ADLS can influence the amount and type of benefits provided.
  3. Policy Customization: Understanding ADLS helps individuals and families choose the right long-term care insurance policy based on anticipated needs.
Activities Of Daily Living Long-Term Care


ADLs are essential for determining the level of care an individual needs and are a key component in planning personal care, healthcare services, and insurance needs. Understanding ADLs helps ensure that the right support is provided for those who need assistance in their daily lives. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What common ADLs may individuals need assistance with in long-term care facilities?

Some common ADLs that individuals may need assistance with in long-term care facilities include bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, eating, and mobility.

What potential challenges arise when assisting with ADLs in long-term care?

Some potential challenges that arise when assisting with ADLs in long-term care include maintaining residents’ privacy and dignity, managing resident resistance, and ensuring that care is provided consistently and with a high level of quality.

How can you ensure residents benefit from their adls?

To ensure residents benefit from their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), provide consistent, personalized care that respects their independence and preferences. Offer training to caregivers, use adaptive equipment when necessary, and regularly assess each resident’s needs and abilities, adjusting care plans accordingly to promote autonomy and enhance quality of life.

What are ADLs in nursing?

In nursing, ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) refer to basic self-care tasks that individuals perform daily. These include bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (e.g., from bed to chair), eating, and maintaining continence. Assessing a person’s ability to perform ADLs helps determine their level of independence and care needs.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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