Activities of Daily Living

adl

Description:

These are routine activities people do every day without assistance. There are six basic Activities of Daily Living (ADL): eating, bathing, getting dressed, toileting, transferring, and continence. These are basic tasks of daily life that are useful to know.

Purpose

Activities of Daily Living are important for all learners’ disabilities because it allows them to practice important tasks that must be done in everyday life without assistance.

While doing the following activities, keep in mind the developmental stage and age of the learner. To simplify the activity, caregivers can aim to teach one step and wait until they are comfortable doing that before moving on to the next step. Many of these activities will need extra assistance during the initial repetitions.

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eating
Activity 1: Eating

This refers to the ability to feed oneself

Purpose

The learner will self-feed developmentally appropriate foods in order to support a healthy and diverse nutritional profile.

  • Step 1

    Sit down and have a family meal together where everyone eats the same foods. Majority (at least 50%) of the meal should be foods that the learner enjoys eating (i.e., butter pasta, cucumber slices, and chicken nuggets). *The foods need to be pre cut or sliced into manageable bites.

  • Step 2

    Serve the meal “family style.” Pass each dish around the table. Everyone should take some food and put it on their own plate.

  • Step 3

    Over exaggerate your chewing movements. Talk about the experience of eating.

  • Step 4

    Praise to the learner for every attempt at self-feeding. ** If the learner is used to having an iPad or television screen on when mealtime begins, try to delay turning the device on by 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then 3 and so on.

  • Step 5

    Introduce a spoon to help with self-feeding.

bathe
Activity 2: Bathing

This refers to the ability to wash the body with soap and water.

Purpose

This activity helps in personal hygiene of the learner.

  • Step 1

    Ask the learner to undress themselves.

  • Step 2

    Tell the learner to turn on the shower or fill the bucket with water, adjusting the temperature to suit personal comfort. *Please supervise this step to make sure the water is not too hot.

  • Step 3

    First, tell them to rinse the body properly with water

  • Step 4

    Then, apply soap all over the body making sure to scrub everywhere. *Please be careful of soap entering the eyes of learners – and they can start with soaping their legs and arms, only moving to their hair or face one they are comfortable

  • Step 5

    Ask the learner to soap off thoroughly making sure that all the soap has been washed away.

  • Step 6

    Turn off the water.

  • Step 7

    Ask the learner to dry with a towel. Be mindful to dry everywhere.

clothes
Activity 3: Dressing

This refers to the ability to put clothes on by themselves.

Purpose

This activity helps the learner independently dress themselves.

  • Step 1

    Ask the learner to lay their clothes on the bed and look for the right side of the shirt or undershirt.

  • Step 2

    Then tell the learner to put on a dress or shirt – slip it from the head onto the neck.

  • Step 3

    Turn it around to the front side and put out the arms in the sleeves.

  • Step 4

    Pull it all the way down to cover yourself.

  • Step 5

    Button the buttons (if there are any).

  • Step 6

    If wearing a trouser, hold it near the knee and put the legs in the correct place.

  • Step 7

    Pull it up to the waist and zip it and button it up.

walk
Activity 4: Transferring

This refers to the ability to go from one place to another.

Purpose

This activity helps enhance independent mobility.

  • Step 1

    Ask the learner to stand up from the chair/sofa

  • Step 2

    Walk to the door and open it using the door handle.

  • Step 3

    Decide in which room they have to go and open the door of that room. Once they are there, have them sit in a chair or sofa in that room.

    *Please make sure that learners do not do this for the front door for the home as it can be dangerous for them to leave the home unsupervised

continence
Activity 5: Maintaining Continence

This refers to the ability to control the bladder or bowel functions.

Purpose

This activity will give the learner the ability necessary for appropriate management of urinary and fecal elimination.

  • Step 1

    Demonstrate how to use the bathroom using a doll or a stuffed animal. Pretend the animal communicated their need to go to the bathroom. Take the doll to the bathroom and undress her and have her use the toilet, wash her hands and dry her hands.

  • Step 2

    Read a book or illustrate the necessary steps for using a toilet to show them the steps. Create a rewards chart and give learners a star whenever they accurately identify the need to use the toilet and use it.

  • Step 3

    Ask the learner to go to the bathroom when they feel the need to use the restroom.

    *In case help is required, tell the learner to inform the caregiver and then help with what is needed.

  • Step 4

    When the learner feels the urge to pass a bowel motion, ask them to make sure to let the caregiver know and try to go to the bathroom on their own.

    *Please do not shame the learner in case there is an accident – just encourage them to tell you the following time and reward them with praise when they do

clean
Activity 6: Cleaning and Maintaining the House

This refers to the ability to keep the house neat and clean.

Purpose

This activity helps the learner maintain their personal space clean and neat.

  • Step 1

    Ask the learner to make the bed (with the caregiver’s help first, then gradually on their own).

  • Step 2

    Teach the learner how to wipe glass and surface areas, and after some tries, let them try on their own.

  • Step 3

    Teach them how to dust and mop or vacuum their room, then gradually allow them to do it on their own

  • Step 4

    Teach the learner to put things away in their place. Start with putting the meal mats away in the mat drawer, then add other objects, then gradually allow them to do it on their own.

    *Make sure the objects are not delicate.

  • Step 5

    Teach the learner how to sweep and then mop, then gradually allow them to do it on their own.

money
Activity 7: Managing Money

This refers to the ability to save and spend money.

Purpose

This activity helps in managing money. It is important that the learner makes sure they will always have enough money for necessities and other important things.

* This activity is only for those who are at a functional academic level.

  • Step 1

    Help the learner create a little piggy bank using an empty tissue box. Put some coins or notes in the piggy bank.

  • Step 2

    Tell the learner to open their piggy bank and use simple mathematics to add up the money that they have.

  • Step 3

    For an extension: tell the learner to think about things that they want to buy and how much they are, and see how much they will need to save up or use their money to get what they want to buy.

prep
Activity 8: Preparing Meals

This refers to the ability to make cold and hot meals.

Purpose

This activity assists the learner in planning and preparing a meal.

  • Step 1

    Ask the learner to start cooking a cold meal that does not require heat. Allow them to create a sandwich or a salad of their choosing. Identify and take out all the ingredients, and make sure they know the steps they have to follow.

    *For learners that are capable, write the recipe and follow it.

  • Step 2

    If the learner is old enough to work with heat, allow them to make a hot meal with the help of the caregiver.

    *Please be mindful of sharp objects such as knives or forks. Please also be careful of allergies.