Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs has been a popular theory in psychology and sociology since the 1940s. Though it has adapted and changed over the years, it still maintains the core belief that there are a series of interconnected physical and psychological elements that humans need to survive. The most recent adaptation of this theory is often pictured as a pyramid, in which each level depends on the fulfillment of the one below it, with the bottom being the most fundamental human necessities.

Maslow’s 5 basic human needs are as follows, starting with the most important:

  1. Physiological
    • It may be obvious that physiological needs are the most essential. These include food, water, shelter, health, and rest. Only when these basic functions are met can one move up the ladder of human needs.
  2. Safety
    • As its name suggests, this rung involves safety and security of any kind including financial security, physical security, emotional security, and overall health and well-being.
  3. Social
    • This essentially boils down to social needs and interpersonal feelings of belonging. We’ve all heard that humans are social creatures. As such, we have a fundamental need to feel like we belong in social groups, whether that’s in a family, friendship, community, club, or other forms of intimate connection.
  4. Esteem
    • According to Maslow, people need to feel some amount of importance and respect. This level relates to the ego and is an important element of psychological health. Maslow theorized there is a lower version (external respect) and a higher version (internal self-esteem or confidence). Basically, esteem which is based on the respect of others and esteem that comes from within.
  5. Self-actualization
    • This is the drive or desire to fulfill your potential as a person. This can happen through education, development of skills, art, travel, or caring for others. Until the other levels are met, it’s difficult to truly engage in activities that contribute to real self-actualization.

The hierarchy of needs concisely describes the needs of all humans regardless of age, color, creed, or nationality. In home care, often the people we care for cannot fulfill basic needs on their own, so they rely on caregivers. This is why our industry is so crucial, yet so sensitive. Home care primarily focuses on the first two or three levels. We assist with meals and nutrition, encourage fluids, and make sure our clients rest. We offer helping hands to ensure physical safety and are there to support clients emotionally. We provide social connection which is critical to fight the loneliness that many clients feel.

With the first three tiers met, our clients have the opportunity to meet the fourth level of psychological well-being and self-esteem. Our team strives to understand each unique individual and their needs so they may live the most comfortable and fulfilling life possible.