Activities of daily living

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Activities of Daily Living

Basic, mundane activities such as bathing, eating, taking medication, walking, dressing, and using the toilet. Long-term care insurance policies compile and maintain (slightly different) lists of activities of daily living that a policyholder generally should be able to do. If a policyholder is unable to perform two or more activities of daily living, he/she is usually able to receive benefits from the long-term care policy. They are also important in determining eligibility for benefits from Medicare, Medicaid, and other government assistance programs.

Activities of daily living.

To live independently, you must be able to handle certain essential functions, called activities of daily living (ADLs). These standard activities include eating, dressing, bathing, moving from a sitting to a standing position, taking medication, and using the bathroom.

If you are unable to perform two or more these ADLs, you generally qualify to begin receiving benefits from your long-term care insurance policy. Each insurer's list of ADLs may vary slightly, but should always include bathing, as that is often the first activity that a person struggles with.

Cognitive impairments, such as those that result from Alzheimer's disease, are not considered ADLs. A comprehensive long-term care policy will use a different test to determine when policyholders suffering from these impairments qualify to collect benefits.

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