Understanding Activities of Daily Living

3:16 FREE

Start Online Course

By proceeding, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Additional Caregiver & CNA Training Resources

Jobs Near Me

Find More Jobs

Hi, and welcome to our career training series. I’m Nick and I’m one of the team members here at myCNAjobs. Today we’re going to be talking about ADLs, or activities of daily living. ADLs are the primary thing Caregivers and CNAs are employed to help patients with. We’ll go over what ADLs are and what is expected of you as the Caregiver.

So what are ADLs?
ADLs are everyday activities that you and I may take for granted. They’re essential tasks to live independently. When a patient can no longer perform some or all of these tasks, a Caregiver or CNA like you is called in to help. You being there to lend a hand allows your patient to live a better quality life. While there are many ADLs patients may need help with, they fall into five categories: personal hygiene, dressing, eating, continence, and transferring.

Personal Hygiene
Helping your patient with personal hygiene may consist of tasks such as bathing, grooming, oral care, and more. Helping your patient stay clean and healthy is vital to their everyday happiness. This may include providing baths for patients unable to leave their bed, helping patients floss, or perhaps brushing their hair daily.

Some patients may not be able to fully dress or undress themselves. They’ll rely on your help to get them ready for their day. This may include both the ability to physically dress themselves as well as making appropriate clothing decisions for the weather or activities planned for that day.

Many patients need help with some or all parts of eating. One patient may simply need help opening food packaging, another may need assistance with cooking and meal prep, while others may not be able to feed themselves at all. For patients who can’t feed themselves, you may need to prepare, cook, and feed them their meals.

Helping patients maintain continence includes both the physical and mental capacity to use the bathroom. Some patients may use things like a bedside commode or bedpan when going to the bathroom. Others simply need help getting to and from the restroom. It’s important to know how to help with each patient’s individual needs. You should always try to respect the privacy of your patient, while making sure they stay safe - which is your number one priority.

Many patients need help moving from a seated to a standing position and vice versa, as well as getting in and out of bed. As a Caregiver, it will be your job to help them. For some patients this simply requires a helping hand. For others, you may be called upon to use specialized equipment such as hoyer lifts or belts. As always, safety is your top priority when assisting your patients, and making sure they’re able to safely get where they need to be ensures a healthier and happier life for them. There are some other tasks Caregivers are often times called to assist with. While these may not always be daily tasks, they are common activities many patients need help with on a regular basis. They can include things like transportation, shopping, housework, medication reminders, and more.

That’s all for today! I hope this was helpful. If you’re looking for Caregiver or CNA work, you can visit to find jobs near you. Or if it’s easier, you can give us a call and speak to a recruiter directly at 312-275-3959.

Activities of daily living, or ADLs as they are commonly referred to, are a primary job duty of Caregivers and CNAs. In this video, we’ll go over what activities of daily living are, and what is expected of Caregivers and CNAs working to help clients with them. We’ll also cover the five main categories of ADLs - personal hygiene, dressing, eating, continence, and transferring. This will help give you a better understanding of these common tasks you’ll encounter when on the job as a Caregiver.