Daily Living

Virtual Daily Living and Recreation, Sports, and Leisure Demonstration

For more information, please contact Amy Woods, Occupational Therapy Assistant, at amy.l.woods@okstate.edu or 405-744-7734.

Key Takeaways

What is Assistive Technology (AT) for Daily Living?

  • AT for daily living includes adaptive equipment.
  • It helps individuals complete everyday activities.
  • Devices can be low-, mid-, or high-tech.
  • This category encompasses devices assisting with self-care tasks including: bathing/showering, personal hygiene/grooming, dressing, toileting, functional mobility, and self-feeding.

Common No-Tech and Low-Tech Daily Living AT Solutions:

  • Ensure seating/positioning is appropriate
    • Hips as far back in the chair as possible
    • Seat height allows for flat feet
    • Chair back is reclined (100 – 110 degree angle)
    • Shoulders relaxed
  • Be well-rested/conserve energy (extra time/break between tasks)
  • Timers and written lists for task reminders/steps
  • Schedule incorporates breaks (toileting, pressure relief, nutrition, etc.)
  • Item placement within vision/reach/access; consider adding color contrast between item(s) and background
  • Build-up handles (Ex. doorknobs/cabinet pulls for easier grasp)
  • Remove rugs/loose carpets (decreases fall risks and/or difficulty maneuvering)

Who, When, and Where is AT for Daily Living Appropriate?

  • When an individual is having difficulty independently completing self-care tasks due to physical and/or cognitive deficits
  • Can be used in all settings/environments
  • It is right for anyone who is not able to independently complete daily living tasks for themselves

Why is Daily Living AT Important?

  • Reduces support from others (parents/caregivers, educators/paraeducators, etc.)
  • Increases independence and self-efficacy during fundamental and instrumental daily living activities
  • Enables individuals to improve self-confidence, self-image and self-care abilities

Situations for Daily Living AT:

School Environment

  • Self-feeding in the cafeteria
  • Toileting independently
  • Manipulating clothing during/after toileting
  • Dressing and undressing for gym class
  • Partaking in snack time within the classroom
  • Functional mobility to navigate the building(s)

Work Environment

  • Self-feeding during a break
  • Functional mobility to navigate the environment
  • Toileting independently
  • Manipulating clothing during/after toileting
  • Performing oral hygiene after eating

Family / Home Environment

  • Self-feeding in the dining room
  • Meal prep in the kitchen
  • Toileting independently
  • Manipulating clothing during/after toileting
  • Shaving, washing hair, and grooming
  • Dressing and undressing for the day
  • Functional mobility to move to each room of the house
  • Showering in the bathroom
  • Brushing teeth


  • Functional mobility at entertainment venues
  • Self-feeding in public
  • Toileting independently
  • Manipulating clothing during/after toileting
  • Functional mobility during shopping trips

Commonly Asked Questions about Daily Living AT:

  • Q – What are fundamental daily living activities?
    • A – Everyday routines involving functional mobility and personal care, such as bathing/showering, personal hygiene/grooming, dressing, toileting, functional mobility, and self-feeding. An inability to execute these activities requires one to depend on others, resulting in a self-care deficit.
  • Q – What are instrumental daily living activities?
    • A – Necessary activities beyond self-care required to live independently such as cleaning/maintaining the house/laundry, preparing meals/cooking, managing medications, pet care, banking/money management, yard maintenance, using the telephone/communicating, and shopping/moving within the community.
  • Q – How do individuals know which piece of AT is right for specific daily living needs?
    • A – Focus on tasks needing to be accomplished. Begin with simple no- to low-tech solutions as they are the easiest to use. The device needs to be comfortable for personal use.
  • Q – Who can help an individual choose AT for daily living needs?
    • A – Ask a health provider such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech therapist for guidance on choosing a device that matches the individual’s specific needs and assists them with completing the task(s). Also, each state has an AT Act Program with staff/resources to guide individuals through matching with needed AT.

AT Solutions at Oklahoma ABLE Tech:

Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Daily Living Demonstration & Loan Inventory

Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Daily Living Reuse & Exchange Inventory

Helpful Links and PDF Resources:

Guides and Articles:

Other Resources:

Check out these videos highlighting daily living devices in the Oklahoma ABLE Tech inventory: