The six Activities of Daily Living (ADL) are: Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Continence, Transferring, and Eating. A person who needs Substantial Assistance performing at least two of these activities for 90 days or more is considered to be eligible for long-term care benefits by most insurance companies. Tax-qualified plans must apply this standard. A medical professional determines the ability to perform ADLs.
Case in point:
• Bathing includes shaving, brushing teeth, brushing hair.
• Dressing activities are selecting appropriate garments, managing zippers, buttons, and fasteners, dressing and undressing.
• Eating is the equivalent of feeding oneself.
• Transferring is the ability to walk or if not ambulatory, able to transfer from wheelchair to bed, wheelchair to toilet, etc.
• Toileting is independent use of toilet.
• Continence refers to the ability to control bladder and bowel.
Bathing / grooming is often the first activity to require assistance, followed by walking some distance. 400 yards is a common benchmark. Feeding is usually the last activity to require assistance.