Document Type

Handbook, Guide or Manual (Third Edition)

Publication Date (Third Edition)




Activities of daily living (ADL) include eating, drinking, functional bathing, grooming, dressing and toileting. Also included are functional transfers, EADL (Electronic Aids for Daily Living) and home management.

As soon as it is appropriate, you will be encouraged to perform as many of your own ADLs as you can. You may need to learn new techniques, use assistive devices to compensate for decreased muscle strength and range of motion or to compensate for decreased endurance.

ADL training will begin when your therapist determines that you have enough strength, balance and skill to do these tasks. You may practice these skills with the therapist in the therapy gym or at your bedside. Your cooperation is necessary to obtain the highest level of independence possible.

The techniques described on the following pages have been helpful for many patients in achieving partial to total independence with ADLs. Some of the side benefits of ADL practice include increased range of motion and muscle strength, increased general endurance, improved balance and increased flexibility. Independence with ADLs can contribute to increased self esteem and confidence as well.

You may practice these techniques and decide with your therapist which activities are easiest to complete in bed, in a chair or in a wheelchair. Over time, the techniques you use for ADLs may change.

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