Personal Daily Living

Like most people around the world, I got up this morning, went to the restroom, ate breakfast, took a shower, dressed, fixed my hair and face and began my day.  All of these mundane activities that we do every day are “Activities of Daily Living”.  They are not glamourous, but they are essential to independent living.  The more of them we can accomplish on our own, the more independently we can live and the less of them we can do on our own, the more support we need in our daily lives.  This is a universal truth and maintaining our abilities to accomplish these activities allows us the option of living independently.  Gaining and maintaining these skills is something that we tend to take for granted, despite the fact that many of us will face challenges in this area at some time in our lives.  Generally, these activities include all the activities necessary for bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and mobility. While all of the individuals we serve have some deficits in some of these areas, their experience and abilities vary widely.  Some know how to accomplish these tasks but may not understand the importance of them or the consequences of neglecting them.  Others may have developed negative attitudes toward these activities, often called “chores”, as children.  This may result in resistance to these activities.  While others may not have even attempted these activities before coming into our care.  These repetitive tasks are not very interesting or entertaining, but they are very necessary to maintain health and safety.  Once they become a part of an individual’s routine, it will often be easier to accomplish them, but routines often need to be changed as living situations change.  Because of the importance of these activities, we reserve time at the beginning of each day and the end of each day to ensure they are accomplished.  In addition, for individuals that we serve 24 hours a day who live outside of their family home, we reserve several evenings a week for Activities of Daily Living that take place weekly or periodically instead of daily.  While it is easy to take these activities for granted, they make up a large part of our daily lives because of their importance.  It is estimated that we spend 82 days during our lifetime brushing our teeth alone.  Activities of Daily Living are literally the little things that make up our days and keep us going physically.