Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs And An Extended Care Facility
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs rank the basic human needs by their importance. Therefore, physiologic needs will take priority over safety and security, love, affection and belonging, self-esteem, and self actualization. Especially in an extended care facility such as long term nursing home for elderly people, Maslow’s theory is applied in every day care. Even though it is very important for the elderly residents to achieve self-esteem to realize self-actualization, the extended care facility will help them meet their physiologic needs for oxygen, food and elimination first (Rosdahl & Kowalski, 2008).
Aging affects the normal functional ability of elderly residents; simple activities such as using hands to eat and walking to the bathroom might become difficult to perform. These functional disabilities will coincide with all the medications and treatments they receive. Treatments can include administering oxygen, applying wound dressing, changing catheter and colostomy bags and flushing water through feeding tubes. These are performed by nurses. These basic physiologic needs are the lower level of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy and should be met first before moving onto the next higher level. This is because if these needs are left unmet it could endanger the survival of the residents and the higher level needs become irrelevant.
Physiological and Physical Needs
Rosdahl and Kowalski (2008) state that once the basic survival needs are met progress to more complex needs can happen afterwards. Therefore, nurse and nursing aides will assist residents with the oxygen, meals, elimination and rest before any other needs. Registered dietician will arrange proper nutrition diet that is acceptable to an individual resident. Safety and security are the physical needs of a shelter and protection from harm. Extended care facility provides residents their own bed to sleep and rest on either in their own private room or with a roommate. They protect residents from abuse and danger. The facility’s social workers have to find a safe place for resident to live if he or she were to be discharged. The discharge requirements also include that the nurse make sure resident understands the medications and treatments and notifying the party accepting the resident about the cares. The facility also has to notify the insurance companies of the discharge. Most seniors can’t afford the payment for long term care facility; it is usually their private insurance, the federally funded Medicare or the Medical Assistance funded by both the state and the federal government that pays for them.
The physical needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy are followed by love, affection and belongings. According to Acello (2004, p. 34), “the most basic emotional need is the need to give love and receive love from others.” Often times this is best met when the resident has a strong family unit. Nursing staff can also help in meeting these needs by showing sincerest interest and compassionate attitude towards the residents’ life. Nurse Manager creates nursing care plan for each residents using holistic approach to meet both the physical and the psychological needs of the residents. They make sure no resident is left out in seclusion. The sense of being at the home is generated by following individual person’s schedule and preferences as much as possible. Majority of the residents are in the long term care facility to live there permanently, and they receive treatment and nursing interventions throughout their stay. Therapeutic and recreational department staff members accompany residents during their past time provide them with easy to perform tasks which helps them keep busy and prevent feeling lonely; they also organize social events for residents to interact and play together (Rosdahl & Kowalski, 2008).
This also allows residents to meet their self-esteem needs. Even though the approach of care they receive could be interdisciplinary in nature, residents are given the choice in making the final decision. Residents self image is very important to them, it could “threat their self-esteem and cause anger” if they are afraid of their looks (Acello, 2004, p. 35). Along with the residents’ appearance, the tasks they could perform themselves can have a huge impact on their self-worth. Residents should be allowed to assist during their cares as it could reflect as part of their accomplishments to them. Occupational and physical therapists work with the residents help achieve the highest level of independence possible. Some residents may be able to get discharged after this if they have their own place to live. The highest level on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is self-actualization, which is a need to be self-fulfilled and reach one’s potential. Giving residents sincere compliments about the tasks they perform or assisting but not completing them with difficult activities can help resident achieve self-actualization in an extended care facility (Daniels, 2003).
One must meet the most basic needs before working to meet higher level of needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In an extended care facility, residents’ physiologic needs of oxygen and nutrition will take priority over anything else. Other than safety and security, rest of the needs are psychosocial in nature and can be easily accomplished by allowing resident to socialize with others, giving choice to make decisions on their own and being able to assist in their care. The entire interdisciplinary healthcare and therapeutic care team members work together to make it possible for the resident to achieve the highest level in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs during their permanent stay in the long term care facility.
Acello, B. (2004). Nursing Assisting Essentials for Long-Term Care (2nd ed.). New York,
NY: Delmar Publications.
Daniels, R. (2003). Nursing Fundamentals: Caring and Clinical Decision Making (1st ed.).
Clifton, KY: Cengage Delmar Learning.
Rosdahl, C. B., & Kowalski, M. T. (2008). Textbook of Basic Nursing (9th ed.). Philadelphia,
PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.