A candidates to reach self-actualisation (Miller, 2009, p.41; Mauk,

A theory that can be related to older adults is
Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) hierarchy of needs. Maslow came up with a
five-staged model that contains basic needs, psychological needs and
self-fulfilment needs. The basic needs consist of physiological needs like
food, water and warmth; and safety needs like security. The psychological needs
consist of belonging and love needs like friendship; and esteem needs like
feelings of accomplishment. Finally, the self-fulfilment needs consist of
achieving his or her full potential (Fiore, 2004, p.63-65).


Maslow’s hierarchy is usually thought as once
one gets older, one starts to meet different needs and starts to climb up the
hierarchy. However, with older adults not all needs need to be met, as they
have usually completed the hierarchy as they are already grown. However, they
still relate to the hierarchy as they still have needs, but it is not as
important if some needs are not met. With physiological needs, older adults
require the basics such as food, water, shelter and warmth. This need is their
most sole based when it comes to their carers; as everyone needs their basic
needs met in order to survive. Many of the older adults suffering from injury
or illnesses require a sense of security and safety as they can be seen as
quite vulnerable, but at the same time do not want to be ‘babied’ and still
have some sort of independence; this meets their security needs. The next need
is self-esteem; many older adults feel like they lose their self-worth, so many
want 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, they
have 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 to
reach self-actualisation (Miller, 2009, p.41; Mauk, 2010, p.57-58).

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