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The Activities of Daily Living are a series of basic activities performed by individuals on a daily basis necessary for independent living at home or in the community. There are many variations on the definition of the activities of daily living, but most organizations agree there are 5 basic categories.
1. Personal hygiene – bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care
2. Dressing - the ability to make appropriate clothing decisions and physically dress/undress oneself
3. Eating - the ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare food
4. Maintaining continence - both the mental and physical capacity to use a restroom, including the ability to get on and off the toilet and cleaning oneself
5. Transferring/Mobility- moving oneself from seated to standing, getting in and out of bed, and the ability to walk independently from one location to another
Whether or not an individual is capable of performing these activities on their own or if they rely on a family caregiver for assistance to perform them serves a comparative measure of their independence.