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Hierarchy of Needs for Today’s Elderly

Maslow Hierarcy of NeedsThe names of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Erik Erikson, and Michael DeBakey are well known names in the fields of psychiatry, developmental psychology, and cardiac surgery. The mere mention of their names brings images of books read, presentations attended, and academic notoriety. One other person belongs in this listing of notables and that is Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s concept of the hierarchy of human needs has been examined in almost all fields of academic study and human development. The issues attendant to physiological needs, security needs, social needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs are relevant to all ages. Kate McCarthy has clearly delineated how these needs relate to senior adults as well as children.  When you read her article, picture in your mind’s eye a relative, friend, or senior acquaintance and the universal relevance of McCarthy’s insights become immediately apparent. These five areas can be used in fruitful discussions with the seniors in your life. Have these discussions with those you know and love and you will be amazed at the outcome.

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