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What Are the Activities of Daily Living?

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Definition:

What are the activities of daily living? They are defined as:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting (being able to get on and off the toilet and perform personal hygiene functions)
  • Transferring (being able to get in and out of bed or a chair without assistance)
  • Maintaining continence (being able to control bladder and bowel functions)

Most long term care insurance policy benefits kick in when you need help with at least two of the six activities of daily living.

Each long term care insurance company may have their own specific definition of the activities of daily living, so you will want to refer to your policy for their version, and for details on what is required for you to be eligible for benefits.

You can also call a company like Visiting Angels (they provide in-home care) and you can authorize them to contact your insurance company on your behalf. They are great at helping families through this process. They send a representative out to your home to conduct an evaluation and to develop what is called a “plan of care.”

The evaluation helps determine what activities of daily living you need assistance with, and coordinates your needs with the benefits provided by your long term care insurance.

Examples:
Joy needed help getting dressed and preparing meals. These two things are two of the six activities of daily living. Since Joy needed help with her activities of daily living, she called her long term care insurance company so she could use her insurance to pay for someone to come to her home and help her with these tasks.
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