What Does the Medical Term ADL Stand For?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 16, 2020 9:40:13 AM ET

In the medical world, particularly in dealing with disabled individuals and older people, the acronym ADL stands for activities of daily living. This includes any activity that a person normally performs on their own, such as getting dressed, brushing his teeth, combing his hair, cooking food, eating, toileting and managing medication.

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A person's ability to perform activities of daily living or a person's inability to provide their own self-care is often used as a measurement of disability. An ADL level may be determined to judge whether or not a person is capable of living on their own or if they need help with normal everyday activities.