- 1 What are activities of daily living?
- 2 How are activities of daily living classified?
- 3 How can activities of daily living be improved?
- 4 Exercises for improving activities of daily living in adults
- 5 Exercises for improving activities of daily living in children and teenagers
Do you know what activities of daily living are? Do you know the difference between basic and instrumental activities of daily living? Do you know how to improve ADLs? In today’s post, we explain what activities of daily living are, their classification, and also recommend several exercises for improving them.
What are activities of daily living?
ADLs are all those tasks of everyday life which have a specific value and meaning to individuals, as well as purpose.
Occupations are central to a person’s identity and competence, and they influence how one spends time and makes decisions.
How are activities of daily living classified?
ADLs are divided into the following categories:
1. Basic Activities of Daily Living :
Basic Activities of Daily Living (BADLs) are activities oriented toward taking care of one’s own body.
Basic activities of daily living include:
- Bathing / showering
- Bowel and bladder management
- Functional mobility
- Personal device care
- Personal hygiene and grooming
- Sexual activity
- Sleep / rest
- Toilet hygiene
2. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living:
IADLs are activities oriented toward interacting with the environment; they are often complex, and they are generally optional in nature since they may be delegated to another.
Instrumental activities of daily living include:
- Care of others (including selecting and supervising caregivers)
- Care of pets
- Child rearing
- Communication device use
- Community mobility
- Financial management
- Health management and maintenance
- Home establishment and management
- Meal preparation and cleanup
- Safety procedures and emergency responses
Activities needed for being a student and participating in a learning environment.
- Formal educational participation
- Exploration of informal personal educational needs or interests
- Informal personal education participation
Activities needed for engaging in remunerative employment or volunteer activities.
- Employment interests and pursuits
- Seeking and acquisition
- Job performance
- Retirement preparation and adjustment
- Volunteer exploration
- Volunteer participation
Any spontaneous or organized activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement, or diversion.
- Play exploration
- Play participation
Nonobligatory activities that are intrinsically motivated and engaged in during discretionary time, that is, time not committed to obligatory occupations such as work, self-care, or sleep.
- Leisure exploration
- Leisure participation
7. Social Participation
Activities associated with organized patterns of behavior that are characteristic and expected of an individual or an individual interacting with others within a given social system.
- Peers / friends
How can activities of daily living be improved?
Next, we introduce several exercises developed by NeuronUP for improving basic and instrumental activities of daily living in both children and adults. We start with exercises for improving activities of daily living in adults.
Exercises for improving activities of daily living in adults
1. Getting Dressed
This first exercise is a good example to work basic activities of daily living, and is ideal for working with Alzheimer’s patients. This task involves dressing a doll figure appropriately, by taking into account both the part of the body where each item goes and dressing in a sequential fashion, as well as selecting clothing appropriate to occasion. This activity focuses on procedural memory, body schema, ideational praxis, semantic memory, and planning.
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2. ATM Withdrawal
This second exercise is a simulation of an instrumental activity of daily living. Clients easily work on how to withdraw money from an ATM so that in the future, they can perform again this task with a real ATM. This activity targets planning in particular.
In this example, a simulator is used to learn how to use a dishwasher, while selecting the different programs accordingly. This exercise mainly focuses on executive functions.
This activity of daily living involves putting different types of waste in the proper bin or container.
- Yellow bin: containers (cans and plastic)
- Blue bin: paper and cardboard
- Green bin: glass
- Dark green/red bin: organic waste
A simulator for learning how to use a microwave by heating up the different foods on display. Once again, this exercise for improving instrumental activities of daily living aims to enhance executive functions.
6. Accurate Payments
Accurate Payments is an activity of daily living which consists on selecting the amount of money request. It is a very exercise for people with Alzheimer’s disease. We will be working on working memory, purchasing and planning.
If you would like to try this or other NeuronUP activities of daily living, just request a free demo by clicking here:
Now, let’s introduce activities of daily living for children and teenagers
Exercises for improving activities of daily living in children and teenagers
7. Pack your Packpack
The first activity of daily living for children and teenagers is Pack your Packback. This task involves packing the packpack for school by selecting only the objects necessary for that day of school. The aim of the game is that the children don´t forget anything behind, but also they don’t have to pack things that they won´t need or the backpack will be too heavy for them to carry! A great challenge!
This game to improve planning and selective attention is ideal for children with ADHD. This children tend to inattention and put things in their backpack without thinking if they are useful or not and forgetting half of books at home. This game will teach them how to pack their backpack.
8. Step by Step (Picture-Only)
8. Step by Step (Text-Only)
This NeuronUP activity of daily living is similar to the previous one, but in this case we work with written content instead of drawings. In addition this exercise also works the comprehension.
10. Straighten Up the Kitchen
The last activity of daily living for children and teenagers is Straighten Up the Kitchen. The exercise consists on putting these ordinary kitchen items away in their usual place. This activity focuses on sustained attention, semantic memory, episodic memory and reasoning.
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If you liked this blog post about activities of daily living for children and teenagers, the following posts might interest you as well:
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