Tips for teaching patients about ADLs

  • Define the goal of the activity with the patient. Be realistic Set short-term goals that can be accomplished in the near future.
  • Identify several approaches to accomplish the task (e g , there are several ways to put on a given garment)
  • Select the approach most likely to succeed
  • Specify the approach on the patient’s care plan and the patient’s level of accomplishment on the progress notes
  • Identify the motions necessary to accomplish the activity (e g., to pick up a glass, extend arm with hand open, place open hand next to glass, flex fingers around glass, move arm and hand holding glass vertically, flex arm toward body)
  • Focus on gross functional movements initially, and gradually include activities that use finer motions (e g , buttoning clothes, eating with a fork)
  • Encourage the patient to perform the activity up to maximal capacity within the limitations of the disability
  • Monitor the patient’s tolerance
  • Minimize frustration and fatigue
  • Support the patient by giving appropriate praise for effort put forth and for acts accomplished
  • Assist the patient to perform and practice the activity in real-life situations

Expected Patient Outcomes The Patient With Self-Care Deficits in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Demonstrates independent self-care in bathing/hygiene or with assistance, using adaptive devices as appropriate

  • Bathes self at maximal level of independence
  • Uses adaptive devices effectively
  • Reports satisfaction with level of independence in bathing/hygiene

 Demonstrates independent self-care in dressing/grooming or with assistance, using adaptive devices

  • Dresses/grooms self at maximal level of independence
  • Uses adaptive devices effectively
  • Reports satisfaction with level of independence in dressing/grooming
  • Demonstrates increased interest in appearance

Demonstrates independent self-care in feeding or with assistance, using adaptive and assistive devices as appropriate

  • Feeds self at maximal level of independence
  • Uses adaptive and assistive devices effectively
  • Demonstrates increased interest in eating
  • Maintains adequate nutritional intake

Demonstrates independent self-care in toileting or with assistance, using adaptive and assistive devices as appropriate

  • Toilets self at maximal level of independence
  • Uses adaptive and assistive devices effectively
  • Experiences adequate frequency of bowel and bladder elimination
  • Does not experience incontinence, constipation, urinary tract infection, or other complications