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Activities of Daily Living Checklist

Activities of Daily Living Checklist

The activities of daily living checklist should be helpful for the aging and elderly people. They face many difficulties in performing even the fundamental activities. The process of delegating the tasks they are unable to perform becomes easier with such checklists.
Shashank Nakate
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The activities of daily living include those tasks that are necessary to complete the routine work. Inability to perform these tasks creates problems in our day-to-day life. People in the age group above 65 years are known to face difficulties in performing these routine tasks.

Checklists for such activities should be prepared with the help of columns that indicate whether a person has to perform the tasks independently or with some help. Based on the data filled in these lists, the level of assistance for the elderly can be measured.

Checklist for Daily Living Activities

*Click on the table to Print it...
ActivitiesIndependentNeed HelpDependentN/A
Bowel/Bladder Control
Oral Hygiene
Mobility and Transportation
Climbing Stairs
Meal Planning and Cooking
Errand Running
Using the Phone
Managing Medications
Doing Laundry
Household chores
Money Management

Fundamental and Instrumental Activities
The daily living activities can be grouped into two categories: fundamental daily living activities and instrumental daily living activities. The fundamental activities are the ones performed independently by the person in question. These are amongst the activities that a person can't avoid doing in a day's routine. For example, a person can't avoid eating or moving or dressing/undressing, etc. In case of individuals with disabilities, the activity of dressing/undressing may include the additional task of putting on artificial limbs or similar other devices.

  • Moving: Walking, getting into the wheelchair (in case of disability or old age) and similar other movements come under this daily activity.
  • Eating: The person should be able to feed himself/herself. In some cases assistance is needed while feeding.
  • Dressing/undressing: The activity to dressing and undressing without help. The person should be able to deal with buttons, zippers and other such fasteners without external help.
  • Toilet activities: In this activity, the person in question is expected to be capable of using the toilet.
  • Continence Ability to control the bladder movements is referred to as continence. A person is expected to manage the incontinence without any help. Otherwise, assistance is provided to such individuals.
  • Personal hygiene and grooming: Cleanliness and maintaining body hygiene, cutting nails, etc. are the activities that come under this task.
Instrumental activities of daily living do not hold as much importance as the fundamental activities; however, they are still an important set of daily activities. The fundamental activities are those without which a person cannot survive. Instrumental activities on the other hand enable a person to lead a good social life. Some of the instrumental activities are listed below.

  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking food
  • Doing the routine housework
  • Using telephone
  • Taking proper care of pets
  • Taking medicines
  • Performing activities pertaining to regulations and safety procedures
  • Management of money related matters
Usefulness of Checklists
The checklist of activities of daily living can be used to keep track of the important daily tasks.Senior citizens of society can benefit from the use of such checklists. The activities presented above, group together the most important tasks. Elderly citizens need assistance in doing the different tasks of daily living. In such cases, assistance of a home care worker can be availed. If you hire a home care worker, providing him/her with specifications about tasks to be performed becomes necessary. It makes the work of the home care worker much easier. An example of checklist of activities of daily assistance that conveys the necessary information to home care workers is given below.

Meal Preparation
The activities of daily living presented below include two columns for the answers i.e. 'Yes' and 'No'. These answers give a clear idea of the degree to which a person needs assistance in handling day-to-day tasks.

Will you plan about the meals to be prepared?
Do you need help in the process of planning the meals?
Do you need a home care worker for preparing meals?
Do you want the home care worker to prepare meal and store it in the refrigerator?

The activities of daily living checklist presented in the article cover almost all the necessary tasks of day-to-day life. The list should prove to be helpful in carrying out the routine tasks in a smooth manner.