Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs illustrates five ascending physical and psychological levels of need that lead to a life of fulfillment and ease. At the base of the pyramid are things we need to survive such as food, water, and shelter. Second, we seek safety and security. Next is what gives us a sense of belonging and love. These first three steps are essential for wellbeing as we age. However, while researching senior living, you’ll miss the opportunity to thrive, as opposed to just survive, if you base your decision on just these first three levels.
At the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy are esteem and self-actualization. It’s here that life is not only easier, but also becomes more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Esteem, or respect for yourself and others, is felt when residents are proud of their home and want it to succeed.
At Quail Park of Lynnwood, one way we support esteem is by fostering a community whose personality and culture reflects our residents, employees, families, and supporters. For example, we recently took part in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Participants included residents, staff, and family members. Those who couldn’t walk donated to the team in other ways. It brought us together as a family instead of just individuals sharing a home.
Self-Actualization, or realizing your full potential, is the pinnacle of the hierarchy. You’re pursuing your passions, feel happy, and are content. What things make you feel fulfilled? Travel, volunteer work, time with loved ones, exercise, reading, learning something new? When researching and visiting senior living communities, look beyond the basic needs and ask how they’re fulfilling the higher needs that help us all to age well and easier. Things like educational speakers, book clubs, advancements in technology, music…whatever you are seeking to reach those upper levels on the hierarchy.
Any senior living community can provide the basic needs. Quail Park of Lynnwood reaches higher. Don’t forget to reach for the top and fulfill your desires as well.
BY SUE ROWELL