What Are ADLs and How Do They Affect Independence?

Older man dressing himself.


Daily routines and personal independence become increasingly important as we go through life. Our ability to carry out activities of daily living, also referred to as ADLs, not only dictates the rhythm of our days but also intimately connects us to our sense of self and autonomy. 

What are ADLs, though, and how do they affect a person’s independence? Our Chattanooga senior living community is answering this question.

Understanding ADLs

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are the basic tasks that individuals perform every day as part of their self-care. These activities are essential for a person’s independence and enable them to maintain autonomy. ADLs are often used to measure a person’s functional status, especially in healthcare settings, to assess needs.

Here are some examples of ADLs:

  1. Showering: The ability to bathe oneself, which includes getting in and out of a tub or shower, ensuring personal hygiene and comfort.
  2. Dressing: Choosing appropriate garments and being able to dress oneself promotes self-esteem and social interaction.
  3. Eating: The ability to feed oneself, maintaining proper nutrition and energy levels.
  4. Grooming: Personal care tasks such as brushing hair and teeth, shaving, and applying makeup are necessary for personal hygiene and social acceptance.
  5. Walking and Mobility: The ability to move about, ensuring access from one setting to another.
  6. Transferring: Moving from one position to another, such as from a bed to a chair, is critical for basic mobility and reducing the risk of falls.
Caregiver helping a senior shave.

As we age, changes in physical strength, mobility, cognitive abilities, and health can affect how we manage these crucial tasks. For some, this might mean taking longer to perform certain tasks, and for others, it may entail needing assistance for routines they once managed on their own.

In this context, proficiency in ADLs can determine the level of care required and the ability to age in place. At Rockbridge Oaks, we encourage residents to recognize and accept these changes as a natural part of aging rather than a loss of autonomy. 

Our Chatanooga senior living community aims to elevate residents’ expectations through our boutique-style approach, providing holistic wellness with multiple programs focused on learning, growing, and socializing. It’s about finding new ways to adapt and thrive, making sure that every individual not only continues to live as independently as possible but also enriches their lifestyle.

Managing Activities of Daily Living in a Community Setting

Senior living communities are designed with the belief that every resident is unique, with their own set of skills, abilities, and needs. These communities provide a spectrum of support tailored to empower individuals to maintain as much autonomy as they can while offering help where it’s needed. Whether it’s through assisted living or memory care options, the aim is to enhance each resident’s ability to manage ADLs effectively.

Caregiver helping older woman take a bath

Our assisted living community in Chattanooga offers personalized care plans that can include help with dressing, bathing, and medication management, ensuring residents can confidently go about their day. The level of support provided depends on each individual’s current needs, which are determined by a comprehensive wellness review. 

We understand that each person’s requirements are constantly changing, and we also cater to individuals experiencing cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in our memory care neighborhood that integrates structure and support to assist with ADLs and enhance overall well-being. 

Understanding and managing ADLs is vital to ensuring individuals lead satisfying, autonomous lives. If you or a family member are looking for a Chattanooga senior living community, Rockbridge Oaks could be the right choice. We invite you to contact us or schedule a tour of our community to experience the amenities, programs, services, and way of living at Rockbridge Oaks in Chattanooga, TN.