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Responding naturally to the basic needs of seniors who are losing their independence


Responding naturally to the basic needs of seniors who are losing their independence

Basic needs fluctuate and change throughout an individual's life.

However, for elderly people who are losing their autonomy, it is much more complex to evaluate the various changes that occur in their physical, emotional and cognitive needs.


According to a recent article published on the Linked platform by journalist Michel Bichet, Abraham Maslow would never have approved the famous pyramid summarizing the needs of an individual. For him, the conception of the evolution of needs is part of a much more flexible schematization that allows for the respect of the evolutionary process of each individual, and this, outside the normative labels of society.


Thus, following Maslow's true evolutionary line of thought, a caregiver will be able to better meet the basic needs of an elderly person if he or she takes into account the natural development in the face of his or her illness.

Some people will adapt their environment more easily to compensate for their memory loss, for example. Others, however, will have such a disruption in their beliefs that their behavior will be rapidly affected.


According to Maslow, each person has his own system in which he evolves or regresses according to the

which he evolves or regresses according to the natural movements of his life. For the elderly, however, it appears that existential fluctuations occur according to a rhythm that directly echoes their state of health. In order to respond effectively to changes in basic needs, friends, caregivers and family need to be more attentive and refined in their observations of the senior, both in terms of verbal communication (when still present) and non-verbal reactions.


Depending on the individual's reactions, rocking could thus become, for example, a new response to his need for security. This gesture, which is usually associated with childhood, will thus become perfectly adapted to the evolution of the person within his or her own life pattern.

An observation of anxiety increases in certain environments (fear of the wind, violent reactions in too noisy places) will immediately become a sufficient reason to change the places where the elderly person visits so that they better respect the new reality of their fundamental needs.


In the end, let's not forget that the adaptation of humans has not only allowed them to survive, but it has also offered them the opportunity to harvest a very rare commodity, even at the edge of old age, happiness.

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