Hearing loss can lead decreased social interaction

Functional Barriers

Functional impairment means that a part of the body is not working at full capacity. Because of this limitation, the individual not able to do a common tasks. Examples of functional impairment include poor vision, hearing loss, and difficulty walking. Poor vision may prevent reading instructions on medicine bottles. Hearing loss can be socially isolating (Pavlou & Lachs, 2006). Functional impairment may prevent the individual from safely bathing, cooking, or driving a car.

Functional impairment can often be treated. Poor vision and hearing loss can be addressed with an eye exam/glasses and hearing aid. Physical and/or occupational therapy may be needed to evaluate home safety. Equipment and/or repairs may be needed (e.g., raised toilet seat, repair a broken refrigerator). Volunteer services for shopping, transportation, money management, can be arranged through social services.


Pavlou, M. P., & Lachs, M. S. (2006). Could Self‐Neglect in Older Adults Be a Geriatric Syndrome?. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society54(5), 831-842.

Last updated: June 7, 2020 at 16:36 pm by
I. M. Abumaria, Doctor of Nursing Practice
Version 2.00