Promoting Security and Sense of Belonging
We all need to be connected to social supports, such as family, friends and neighbours. However, older people can be more vulnerable, as the loss of loved ones and reduced income can reduce the size of their ‘social pool’. Older people also need to be safe from abuse and secure as they go about their daily lives.
If you are active and involved then you are getting out and exercising your mind and exercising your body and that helps to make you feel safer and it also, I think, gives you the ability to be safer. You can exercise your mind in a number of ways; you can go out and play cards, you can talk to your neighbours, you can get onto the internet, you can walk the dog. All these sorts of things give you the opportunity to be sound in wind and limb.
For example, I am into yoga and I thoroughly enjoy yoga and that again, helps you to feel safe. The internet, I think, is one of the greatest inventions that has ever been. There is so much information out there and it is so interesting that it just devours you, you can spend hours surfing the net, and picking up some quite extraordinary bits and pieces of information, but at the same time you are exercising your mind and that, I think, is one of the most important things in positive ageing and then making you feel safe.
There are a lot of organisations that older people can join, for example National Seniors, where they will have social interaction. And social interaction is obviously the key to when you are feeling isolated. One of the things about the whole community is getting to know your neighbours. I think that neighbours are very good for you. The other great thing of course about your neighbours is that if you are incapacitated in some way, your neighbours can look after your house. If by any chance you don’t appear for a day or two, then the neighbours will be able to check up on you. So I think it’s great that people commune with their neighbours.
Nurses working in the community should be aware of these issues, and identify and address related concerns in their older clients.
In the Video, Tony talks about what safety, security and belonging mean to him.
- What do these concepts mean to you?
- Investigate the link below regarding Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Across the lifespan, what might be the similarities and differences in people’s priorities regarding security and belonging?
- How might they be different for people in their 70s, 80s or beyond?