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Human Needs in Life

People need several things to live healthy and happy lives. Those needs change as people get more of their needs met and achieve more of their goals. A psychologist named Abraham Maslow studied human needs and developed a pyramid which shows levels of needs. When people meet their needs at one level, they will move to meet needs on the next level.

 

Maslow found that people’s basic needs are the most important and should be met first. Basic physical needs include oxygen for breathing, food, water, shelter, warmth, and sleep. Nurse assistants naturally help with people’s basic needs as they feed, clothe, and provide basic care for residents every day.

 

Safety and security needs are important in a nurse assistant’s job as well. Residents move into a facility in order to feel safer and get help with daily tasks. Nurse assistants take care to keep residents safe in their facility. Nurse assistants also work hard to prevent the spread of infection.

Social needs, or love and belonging needs, are next up on the pyramid of needs. Everyone likes to feel as if they belong to a group of friends or to a family. Nurse assistants can talk with residents, share photos, and bring residents to join others for meals and games.

 

Self-esteem needs are important to everyone. Self-esteem is a feeling of success and pride in oneself and feeling worthy of respect by others. Elderly people in nurse assistants’ care often feel helpless and lost. Their self-esteem may be low because they cannot care for themselves anymore. Nurse assistants can help residents feel proud of what they accomplished in the past. Even helping a resident feel clean and groomed may improve the resident’s self-esteem.

 

The highest needs on Maslow’s pyramid are self-fulfillment, or self-actualization, needs. People feel self-fulfilled when they feel that they are successful in their path in life and are accomplishing what they were meant to do. Nurse assistants can encourage residents to continue with their hobbies in order to feel fulfilled.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners