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Daily Living Skills

What is ADL Training?

 Individuals typically seek occupational therapy intervention when they are unable to carry out tasks that are important to them in their day-to-day lives. These activities of daily living (ADLs) can include grooming, dressing, feeding, toileting, bathing, or transferring from surface to surface. 

People also participate in OT treatment when they are experiencing struggles with IADLs (Instrumental ADLs), which are activities not necessary for fundamental functioning but are important for enabling the individual to live independently within a community.  Examples of these IADLS include meal preparation, money management, housework, community mobility, shopping, and safety awareness.

ADL encompass all tasks that are both necessary and meaningful to a patient. Writing, driving, home-care tasks, child care, finance management and work or school-related activities are considered advanced ADL. Leisure activities, such as sports, hobbies and musical talents, are examples of meaningful tasks that would be simulated or practiced to return the patient to a functional level of physical and emotional involvement. Every patient is unique in terms of what is important to them. If the client is a homemaker, an example of a meaningful activity for this client would be cooking. Therefore, cooking could be part of therapeutic interventions practiced in therapy.

The purpose of therapeutic intervention for retraining activities of daily living is two-fold:

  • The goals of therapy with temporary or transient conditions focus on remediation of the identified deficits to allow a patient to return to the maximal level of independence in all ADL.
  • The goals of therapy with permanent or chronic conditions may include instruction in compensatory techniques to allow the patient to safely accomplish a task, retraining to reinforce a new method of completing activities or training with adaptive equipment to safely accomplish ADL within the patient’s limited capacities.

Practicing skills in closely simulated environments promotes greater meaning, purpose and ultimately, maximizes carryover into the patient’s own environment.

 Our occupational therapists provide a comprehensive one-on-one evaluation of each patient’s functional activity limitations and design a treatment program to address these limitations. The program is an ongoing process and can be changed throughout the therapy process to best suit the needs of the patient to maximize independence in ADL’s. ADL training can be incorporated within any therapeutic experience.

Talk to your doctor today if you could benefit from occupational therapy or call our Roswell office.


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