There are many models of human needs that have been developed over the last century or so. Perhaps the most well-known is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We won’t go into it here as there is a great deal of information on the internet about this model. You could try this site as one of many examples. Suffice to say it is a useful way to understand what motivates people to act the way they do.

When our needs are met we tend to be calmer, more contented and less anxious, angry and acting out. When our needs are not met we can become irritable, frustrated, angry, sad, depressed, withdrawn, lose confidence, or act out to get our needs met.

A model of needs has been developed with people with dementia in mind. It consists of five basic needs: Comfort, Occupation, Inclusion, Attachment, and Identity. This was developed by Professor Tom Kitwood. If we look at each need we can understand more about the motivations of people with dementia. These are universal needs that everyone experiences and they can help us understand the motivation behind much behaviour we see of people with dementia, and of ourselves. Over the next five posts we will examine each need in turn. This will begin on Monday next. No post tomorrow.