Needs and Wants In Senior Care

July 6, 2017

Facilitating care sometimes feels like walking around in the dark.  It can be very difficult to discern the best care options for aging loved one or yourself.  According to Senior Living Magazine, something that can help you to get off on the right foot in your decisions is to make a list deciding between some things that are “needs” and some things that are “wants.”

What is the difference between a “want” and a “need?”   Needs are made up of the basic necessities to human life: Sleep, shelter, water, food, and air.  In addition to these, certain medical condition may add medications or medical procedures.  However, preferring to drink only bottled water rather than clean, filtered tap water can be more accurately described as a “want.”  Similarly, it is important to remember that some preferences, while ideal, are not needs, especially when it comes to senior care.  Family caretakers often find themselves neglecting their own basic needs while attempting to meet their loved one’s expectations in regard to their wants, damaging the caretaker’s own mental, emotional, and physical health.  If this becomes the case, care declines and, rather than being beneficial, becomes damaging to both the caretaker and the person in their care. Taking a step back to define what the needs are and what the wants are becomes incredibly important.

If you believe a senior living community may be the best choice for you or your loved one, keeping a list of needs vs. wants in mind is also vital.  One suggestion is to take a piece of paper and draw two columns.  In one, write “needs”.  In the other, write “wants”.  Ask yourself some of the following questions, and sort your answers between the two columns according to preference and necessity:

  • What are my nutritional needs? Do I need to follow a specific diet? Can this senior living community help me to meet those needs?
  • What do I need in regards to my living space?  How much space do I really need?  Is it important for me to keep a pet? Do I need help with housework?  How does this senior living community answer each of these questions and help me meet my needs?
  • What are my medical needs? Do I need help with my medical care? Do I need regular visits from a healthcare professional?  What do others say about how this community helps to meet their medical needs?

Tealridge Assisted Living and Memory Care retirement community is available and ready to help guide you through your decisions regarding your senior living.  We care about meeting your needs and providing you with the best care possible, start here by contacting us.


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