Supporting Activities of Daily Living - DementiaHub.SG

Supporting Activities of Daily Living

senior woman using a walker cross street

As the condition of persons living with dementia progresses, their abilities to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) deteriorate as well. ADLs refer to routine activities which most persons have learned to perform from young and usually do on a daily basis without any assistance.1 However, due to dementia, individuals gradually become unable to perform these daily routines.2

The six ADLs include:

1. Personal Hygiene (Bathing/Showering, Oral Hygiene, etc.)
2. Dressing
3. Toileting
4. Mobility
5. Transferring
6. Eating and Drinking

As a caregiver, you play an important role in supporting your loved one living with dementia. Instead of completely doing ADLs for your loved one, you can provide proper assistance by making these activities easier for them to perform, or finding ways for them to do these activities by themselves via other methods. This helps to prolong their independence, empowering them to do whatever they can for as long as possible.

Listen to the sharing of May Chng, a nurse educator, on her belief in providing care that empowers her mother, Leow Yan Cheng. Despite her mother’s dementia diagnosis, May lets her mother perform the simple daily tasks, instead of taking over them. She even continues to involve her mother in cooking by getting her help with the smaller tasks. Speaking from both her professional and personal experience, May shares with us how complimenting her mother and others living with dementia is vital, and improves their sense of worth.

Source: ForgetUsNot Initiative by LIEN Foundation, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, & Dementia Singapore

Cutlery Hacks

Watch how caregivers, Daniel and Danny, modified cutleries like cups, spoons and chopsticks, to enable their parent living with dementia to eat and drink independently!

Enabling Dad to Eat on His Own | Daniel Lim

Source: ForgetUsNot Initiative by LIEN Foundation, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, & Dementia Singapore

My Dementia Cup Hack | Danny Raven Tan

Source: ForgetUsNot Initiative by LIEN Foundation, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, & Dementia Singapore

The ABCs of Caregiving Course

This course covers the essential skills needed to care for your loved one’s daily needs based on his/her mobility condition (conditions include: ambulant [can walk], wheelchair-enabled, or bed-bound). Some of these essential skills are:

• Monitoring of vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate) and managing emergencies
• Infection control (including hand hygiene and simple wound care) and basic skincare
• Serving oral medication (including reading of medication labels)
• Nutrition and Hydration

In addition to these more basic skills, you will learn how to support your loved one in their daily activities as well, mainly on:

• Assistance with eating
• Toileting
• Personal hygiene
• Mobility

If your loved one needs more specialised care, you can “top-up” your training course with additional electives, which include:

• Bed bath
• Transferring, Positioning and Mobility (Wheelchair)
• Care of Urinary Catheter
• Stoma Care

This course is suitable for you, who are looking after a loved one living with dementia everyday, and your foreign domestic helper (if you have hired one at home).

Find out more and sign up for the ABCs of Caregiving Course.

You may also download this brochure which contains bite-sized information about the ABCs of Caregiving Course.

Downloadable Resources

The following resources contain bite-sized information on Supporting Your Loved One’s ADLs that you may download and/ or print:

Click on the images below to download in English or select another language.

Activities of Daily Living by AIC

Body Mechanics: Positioning, Moving and Transfers by AIC

Assisting People with Dementia with their Personal Care: Ideas and Tips for Carers by Dr. Tamara Backhouse et. al, with University of East Anglia and Alzheimer’s Society, UK


  1. Grey, H. (n.d.). A complete guide to activities of daily living (ADL) in Singapore.
  2. Changi General Hospital. (2019, April 12). Dementia and activities of daily living (ADL).
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