A theory that can be related to older adults isAbraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) hierarchy of needs. Maslow came up with afive-staged model that contains basic needs, psychological needs andself-fulfilment needs. The basic needs consist of physiological needs likefood, water and warmth; and safety needs like security. The psychological needsconsist of belonging and love needs like friendship; and esteem needs likefeelings of accomplishment. Finally, the self-fulfilment needs consist ofachieving his or her full potential (Fiore, 2004, p.63-65).
Maslow’s hierarchy is usually thought as onceone gets older, one starts to meet different needs and starts to climb up thehierarchy. However, with older adults not all needs need to be met, as theyhave usually completed the hierarchy as they are already grown. However, theystill relate to the hierarchy as they still have needs, but it is not asimportant if some needs are not met. With physiological needs, older adultsrequire the basics such as food, water, shelter and warmth. This need is theirmost sole based when it comes to their carers; as everyone needs their basicneeds met in order to survive.
Many of the older adults suffering from injuryor illnesses require a sense of security and safety as they can be seen asquite vulnerable, but at the same time do not want to be ‘babied’ and stillhave some sort of independence; this meets their security needs. The next needis self-esteem; many older adults feel like they lose their self-worth, so manywant to be acknowledged for their input to tasks, giving them a sense of worth.Lastly, there is self-actualisation needs; due to their long time on earth, theyhave experienced many things in life and are known to be quite wise; and so,have had a lot of time to reflect and can be seen as the ideal candidates toreach self-actualisation (Miller, 2009, p.41; Mauk, 2010, p.57-58).