Kohlman Evaluation Of Living Skills


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  • Occupational therapy evaluation designed to determine a person's ability to function in basic living skills.


  • assistance with discharge planning, especially in the setting of limited time for assessment
  • in some states, the KELS is used in court for determination of commitment & gravely disabled cases


  • Goals:
  • successful integration of an individual into his/her environment
  • assist medical team & family help a person to live as independently & safely as possible


  • Administration of the KELS takes 30-45 minutes.

  • 17 living skills are tested under 5 areas*.

  • * Assistance that must be provided if KELS item is scored 'needs assistance'

  • appearance {a}
  • frequency of self-care activities (report) {a}
  • safety health
  • awareness of dangerous household situations (from photographs) {b}
  • identification of appropriate action for sickness & accidents {b}
  • knowledge of emergency numbers {b}
  • knowledge of location of medical & dental facilities {c}
  • money management
  • use of money in purchasing items {d}
  • obtain & maintain source of income {e}
  • budgeting of money for food {f}
  • budgeting of monthly income {g}
  • use of banking forms {e}
  • payment of bills {e}
  • transportation & telephone
  • mobility within community {c}
  • basic knowledge of transit system {c}
  • use of phone book & telephone {a}
  • work & leisure
  • plans for employment {N/A}
  • leisure activity involvement {a}

* {a} discharged to community-living with other(s) competent to provide assistance 
* {b} discharged to community-living with other(s) & receiving constant supervision 
* {c} transportation provided by someone else# 
* {d} shopping done by someone else 
* {e} paying bills & banking done by someone else 
* {f} budgeting of money for food done by someone else 
* {g} budgeting of monthly income done by someone else 
* {N/A} generally, not applicable to geriatric population

  • Equipment:
  • reading & writing form
  • pencil
  • household situation pictures (4)
  • phone book(s)
  • deck of cards
  • bar of soap
  • 2 one dollar bills
  • 1 half dollar
  • 2 quarters
  • 1 dime
  • 4 pennies
  • budget form
  • checking account form
  • bill
  • Taxi Company Card
  • Connected telephone
  • Recorded Message Card
  • Score sheet


More General Terms

Additional Terms


  1. Linda Kohlman Thompson, The Kohlman Evaluation of Living Skills, 3rd edition, The American Occupational Therapy, Inc, 1992

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