Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Definition - What does Activities of Daily Living (ADL) mean?

Activities of daily living (ADL) refers to various activities that people do each day without requiring any assistance. They comprise:

  • Eating, bathing, and dressing;
  • Toileting, i.e. the ability to get on and off the toilet in addition to performing various personal hygiene activities;
  • Transferring, i.e. the ability to get in and out of bed or a chair without requiring assistance; and
  • Maintaining continence, i.e. having the ability to control one’s bladder and bowel functions.

When individuals require help with at least two of the ADLs, their long-term care insurance starts providing the benefits listed in the policy.

Insuranceopedia explains Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Long-term care insurance companies often provide benefits based on the policyholder’s ability to perform ADLs without needing assistance. Typically, insurance companies have their own definitions of each one. They first assess the policyholder’s ability to perform them unassisted. This enables them to determine the kind of long-term care the policyholder requires, e.g. home care or nursing-home care; and the coverage the policyholder requires, e.g. Medicare, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance.

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