Human Relationships and Practical Psychology in Working with Older Adults

A respect for basic human needs increases cooperation.

Basic human needs include:

  • the need to be loved and praised regardless of age
  • the need to be needed and respected despite any limitations
  • the need to be given credit for what you know
  • the need to be given choices and allowed to make mistakes
  • the need to be productive, to be effective, to have goals
  • the need for companionship
  • the need for security-consistency
  • the need for privacy
  • the need for beauty

Obtaining cooperation also requires:

  • attention to any changes, such as:
    • vision
    • hearing
    • balance
    • touch
    • taste
    • smell
    • strength
    • memory
    • sleep patterns
    • paranoia/delusions/mood disorder
    • depression
    • medication
  • patience
  • understanding adaptive behaviors
    • look for underlying reasons
    • change the situation
    • change your response
    • use communication skills

[back to top]


Last updated: 31 October, 2013

Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.