In this blog, we explore the importance of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and what they are. It's essential to get a clear understanding so you can better care for a patient or family member. Plus, we have rounded up some brilliant products that promote independent living by making ADLs manageable.
What does ADL stand for?
ADL stands for Activities of Daily Living, which comprises of five basic tasks required to live an independent and healthy life. Members of the population who have recently received surgery or have disabilities/a condition, such as arthritis, can struggle to complete daily tasks. They are accessed individually, allowing carers to detect areas where the client needs additional help.
What are the 5 ADLS?
1. Personal Hygiene
A person must be able to keep a suitable level of hygiene to meet the standards of ADLs. A person may not meet their needs due to a disability. Some wheelchair users may struggle due to limited mobility, making tasks such as bathing tricky.
Another reason could be the side effects of the medication, causing depression. People with depression tend to disregard bathing. Those with depression usually have decreased energy levels, making bathing an overwhelming or neglected aspect of their life.
Personal hygiene extends beyond just bathing and encompasses brushing your teeth and hair, looking after your nails, feet, scalp, oral hygiene, and ear organ hygiene. There are many areas of our body we need to care for to make sure we stay healthy. Personal hygiene can help prevent the spread of diseases, so it's essential.
Not brushing your teeth can lead to bad breath, toothache, the loss of teeth and even gum cancer.
There are products on the market that can aid with specific issues a person may encounter during these tasks. At Tenura, we have developed cutlery grips, an adaptive aid you slip cutlery or utensils like toothbrushes, combs, and other hygiene-related products into, to increase the handle's width. Thin handles can prevent those with limited dexterity in their hands from having proper control. The silicone structure of the cutlery grips is grip-enhancive.
From selecting clothes to putting them on, this task requires a variety of movement types. Lifting your arms and putting them through your shirt sleeves involves large mobility movements, whereas buttoning the shirt requires more finicky actions. For people with conditions such as arthritis, the manoeuvrability of limbs and hands is limited, making putting clothes on tricky. There are so many dressing aids to help with the different aspects of getting dressed.
Getting dressed shouldn't be a painful experience, and we realised that many of these dressing aids have thin metal handles, making them tricky to hold for those with limited mobility in their hands. But we have a solution. By cutting Tenura grip roll into strips and building up a thicker handle, you can make dressing aids more comfortable to grasp. Tenura grip roll is made from our grip-enhancing silicone, so your hands will not slide off the handle like they would with the use of the metal handle alone.
Being unable to change clothes or get undressed can affect other activities of daily living. Remaining in the same clothes for days would lead to poor personal hygiene and allow germs to breed, which could cause illness. Another affected daily living activity would be continence due to the inability to unbutton your trousers to use the toilet.
Children are a great example of the stages a person may be at when eating. Babies need complete assistance during the task, whereas toddlers have developed partial fine motor skills to hold cutlery and complete the actions required to transport the food from their plate to their mouth. Following this, at 5/6 years old, they can fully feed themselves. You need to evaluate your child's capabilities just as you do with persons in your care. Some people will require full assistance during meal times, whereas those who have some fine motor skills and the coordination necessary to move the food from the plate to their mouth may benefit from the use of adaptive products.
You can add Tenura cutlery grips to the handle's of your eating utensils, such as your knife or fork, to increase the handle's width, making using cutlery comfortable as the utensils are easier to hold. They also are made from 100% silicone which gives them grip-enhancing properties, stopping the cutlery from sliding out of your grasp. We have children's cutlery grips for smaller hands.
Getting the right foods is essential to health. The body needs the correct nutrients to work effectively and fight off infection. Food also gives the body energy to complete other daily living activities.
Being able to go to the toilet and control your bowels is another essential daily task. A person may not be capable of controlling their bladder or can't physically move to the bathroom. Understanding the root problem can allow you to put things in place to help the individual.
Bathroom floors tend to be shiny and smooth, making getting on and off the toilet tricky as you can't get a foothold, but we have come up with clever ideas to help those struggling to use the toilet safely.
If a person struggles to get up from the toilet, the use of grab rails can be helpful. But you may find them uncomfortable to hold and not as grip-enhancing as you would like. By wrapping Tenura grip strips around the grab rail handle, you can improve both comfort and grip due to the soft yet grip-enhancing properties of the silicone grip strips.
The contour rug you have around your toilet can be made safer using a Tenura non-slip floor mat underneath. Place your Tenura floor mat under your bathroom rugs to add additional non-slip properties making the bathroom rug extra secure whilst keeping the aesthetic of your bathroom. The non-slip properties mean rugs won't slide but instead will provide a reliable surface to manoeuvre on and off the toilet.
Tenura floor mats have adhesive-like properties that help keep bathroom rugs in place. The floor mat sticks itself to the floor, preventing the rug from moving and allowing the person on the toilet to get a proper foothold without the risk of slips and falls.
If necessary, you can remove the floor mat, and upon removal, no residue will be left behind.
Please note that the Tenura silicone range loses its non-slip properties when wet.
Moving around, whether that's to go to the kitchen for food, or the bathroom, it's critical to health. A person may find their mobility is compromised following injury, surgery or a medical condition. A person may have difficulty in certain areas. For some, they may require hoists around the house or live-in care. Others can get by with a simple Tenura non-slip floor mat that gives them grip and increased confidence when completing activities of daily living. Non-slip floor mats provide a foothold for the user, even on slippery floors. You can use them around the house, beside beds or sofas to help you manoeuvre safely.
It may be worthwhile installing Tenura non-slip bath stickers, which aid a person with mobility in bathrooms or areas frequently exposed to water. You can line a bath or shower's base with Tenura bath stickers. They apply best to smooth surfaces, providing the area is cleaned first with an alcohol-based cleaner (cream-based cleaners leave behind a powder residue that causes the stickers to lift). For more information, please read our application bath stickers blog.
Now you have a basic understanding of the products that can help patients or family members overcome the struggles associated with activities of daily living. We hope this blog has given you ideas to provide further support and find effective products for anyone in your care.
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