Spark of Life 5 Core Emotional Needs (Public article)

Public article

Members please log in and click this link Spark of Life 5 Core Emotional Needs (Membership required) for your extended version of this article.

By Jane Verity © dementiacareinternational

People with dementia often express themselves in uncharacteristic ways such as a burst of anger, accusations or repetitive actions. Traditional approaches deal mainly with the symptoms, which results in no profound changes to the underlying cause.  The strength of the Spark of Life Approach is that it focuses on everything that happens below the surface for the person with dementia where we find the true reasons behind their behaviour – the Spark of Life 5 Core Emotional Needs.

These unmet emotional needs are:

  1. To be needed and useful
  2. To have opportunity to care
  3. To love and be loved
  4. To have self-esteem boosted
  5. To have the power to choose

These needs are universal and do not change. What does change is the opportunity to have these needs met – especially for people with dementia or anyone else living in an institution where the focus is on tasks and routines rather than on the social and emotional wellbeing of the individual.

Further Reading:

  • Spark of Life 5 Core Emotional Needs – Extended Member Article – Jane Verity – People with dementia often express themselves in uncharacteristic ways such as a burst of anger, accusations or repetitive actions. The strength of the Spark of Life Philosophy is that it focuses on everything that happens below the surface for the person with dementia. This is where we find the true reasons behind their behaviour -the five emotional needs.