Self-Care Deficit, Adult


    Self-Care Deficit (Adult Inpatient)

    Clinical Description

    • Care of the hospitalized patient experiencing limitations in the safe and independent performance of activities of daily living.

    Key Information

    • It is important to consider the patient’s cultural norms, along with individual priorities and preferences when promoting self-care performance.
    • Early rehabilitation and care aimed at increasing self-care abilities are important to help prevent loss of independence and associated negative health outcomes.

    Clinical Goals

    By transition of care

    A. The patient will achieve the following goals:
    • Improved Ability to Complete Activities of Daily Living

    B. Patient, family or significant other will teach back or demonstrate education topics and points:
    • Education: Overview
    • Education: Self Management
    • Education: When to Seek Medical Attention

    Correlate Health Status

    • Correlate health status to:

      • history, comorbidity
      • age, developmental level
      • sex, gender identity
      • baseline assessment data
      • physiologic status
      • response to medication and interventions
      • psychosocial status, social determinants of health
      • barriers to accessing care and services
      • health literacy
      • cultural and spiritual preferences
      • safety risks
      • family interaction
      • plan for transition of care

    Self-Care Deficit


    • active movement limitation
    • bathing ability limited
    • dressing ability limited
    • grooming ability limited
    • inability to complete BADLs (basic activities of daily living)
    • inability to complete IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living)
    • laundry performance ability limited
    • limited endurance
    • meal preparation ability limited
    • medication management ability limited
    • muscle weakness
    • pain limits activity
    • personal hygiene care ability limited
    • reluctance to perform self-care
    • requires prompting to perform self-care
    • requires assistance with self-care
    • self-feeding ability limited
    • shortness of breath
    • toileting ability limited

    Problem Intervention

    Promote Activity and Functional Independence

    • Evaluate ability to perform and complete BADLs (basic activities of daily living) and IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living) safely and independently.
    • Identify patient’s preferences for clothing, food and personal care items; offer and honor patient choice when possible.
    • Provide therapeutic interventions, such as modifications or adaptations to personal care tasks or routines to maximize independence and safety.
    • Encourage active participation and independence in daily activity; provide level of assistance required for safety.
    • Promote use of recommended adaptive equipment, devices and orthoses.
    • Implement appropriate environmental modifications, such as decluttering and rearranging room to allow wheelchair access.
    • Maintain patient’s preferred routines and habits; respect privacy and personal space.
    • Schedule self-care activities when pain and fatigue are at a minimum to encourage optimal performance.
    • Pace activity; allow adequate time and rest periods to conserve energy.
    • Provide frequent encouragement, along with prompting and assistance as needed.
    • Provide set-up of items if patient is unable to retrieve; store personal care items in accessible location.
    • Individualize instructions and prompts to patient’s cognitive status to promote effective communication; simplify verbal directions, give encouragement and provide demonstrated cues as needed.
    • Position the patient for optimal performance, such as sitting in a chair for meals or performing hygiene at sink.

    Associated Documentation

    • Activity Assistance Provided
    • Adaptive Equipment Use
    • Cognitive Support Measures
    • Self-Care Promotion


    CPG-Specific Education Topics


    • risk factors

    • signs/symptoms

    Self Management

    • self-care

    When to Seek Medical Attention

    • unresolved/worsening symptoms

    General Education Topics

    General Education

    • admission, transition of care

    • orientation to care setting, routine

    • advance care planning

    • diagnostic tests/procedures

    • diet modification

    • opioid medication management

    • oral health

    • medication management

    • pain assessment process

    • safe medication disposal

    • tobacco use, smoke exposure

    • treatment plan

    Safety Education

    • call light use

    • equipment/home supplies

    • fall prevention

    • harm prevention

    • infection prevention

    • MDRO (multidrug-resistant organism) care

    • personal health information

    • resources for support


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    Clinical Practice Guidelines represent a consistent/standardized approach to the care of patients with specific diagnoses. Care should always be individualized by adding patient specific information to the Plan of Care.

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