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Activities of Daily Living (ADL's)

Activities of Daily Living (“ADL’s) is a phrase used in the medical insurance field to determine the type of long-term care a person needs and what type of insurance will cover the costs.

ADL’s are routine activities that all human beings carry out on a daily basis. They include:

     (1)  Feeding oneself;

     (2)  Bathing and cleansing one’s body;

     (3)  Getting dressed by oneself;

     (4)  Mobility (either by walking or using mechanical assistance) to get from one place to another;

     (5)  Personal hygiene (including brushing teeth, combing hair, etc.); and

     (6)  Using the toilet independently.

Most insurance coverage for nursing home care becomes effective when a person is unable to perform two or more ADL’s without assistance.

It is estimated that nearly half of all people who reach the age of 65 will spend time in a nursing home or require assisted care at their own home at some point during the remainder of their life.

As those numbers increase, it will create additional financial pressure for insurance companies as well as the Medicare, Medicaid and VA Healthcare systems.

The ability to assess ADL’s is quickly becoming an important, if not key, component in triggering insurance coverage of medical costs as well as qualifying for certain government benefits at the state and federal levels.

For your free home ADL Evaluation Checklist visit and join our community of Advocates For the Aged.