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Identify possible barriers to active participation and demonstrate ways to reduce them


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

Active participation has several benefits to individuals receiving care including more independence and an increased level of well-being, however, sometimes there may be barriers that can stifle this person-centred approach.


It is important that you are able to recognise barriers to active participation and demonstrate ways of minimising them.

The table below shows some potential barriers and how they can be reduced:

BarrierHow to reduce
Communication barriers e.g. an individual being non-verbalThe individual's care plan should describe their preferred communication methods. Just because somebody is non-verbal, it should not be assumed that do not want to communicate or participate.
Physical barriers e.g. an individual locking themselves in their bedroomOffer encouragement but also respect the individual's right to privacy
Logistical barriers e.g. individuals with reduced mobility not able to access an activity due to the location not having disabled accessChange the location of the activity or make the existing location wheelchair-friendly, use mobility aids
Emotional or psychological barriers e.g. depression, anxiety, shyness etc.Offering praise and encouragement, getting advice from their GP
Cognitive barriers e.g. an individual not understanding why they should be participatingCommunicating effectively as described in their care plan, encouragement, referral to a speech and language therapist
Organisational barriers e.g. unsuitable shift patterns or poorly trained staffStaff should have adequate training and understand the importance of active participation, shift patterns should be flexible for the individual receiving care
Lack of timeActivities should be planned so that there is enough time and other resources available to perform them in a person-centred way

If an individual is unable to participate in an activity, you should always seek to identify the reasons why and look at ways to remove or minimise any barriers.


By doing so, you can help the individuals that you care for to have more independence and more control over their lives, which will positively affect their self-esteem and well-being.

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