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What Is a Physical Self-Maintenance Scale?

A Physical Self-Maintenance Scale is a tool used to measure an individual’s ability to take care of themselves by examining activities of daily living, or ADLs. It contains different categories that an individual is scored on depending on their capability of completing certain tasks. The categories for this assessment range from someone’s ability to the following:

  • Using the bathroom
  • Dressing themselves
  • Feeding themselves
  • Mobility
  • Using the telephone
  • Ability to shop and handle money
  • Ability to prepare food
  • Ability to do laundry
  • Responsibility for their medications

An individual’s score is utilized to establish their needs and level of care. This scale can be used for personal use to help an individual establish what type of care they need. In some states, like Alabama, this scale is scored by a medical professional and is utilized to establish an individual’s eligibility to receive care at an assisted living facility. For more information, refer to this example of a Physical Self Maintenance Scale.

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