Universal Requisites Page 2

             Solitude vs. Social Interaction

             Residents should never have to suffer from prolonged periods of solitude. Residents should be encouraged to participate in activities that allow for opportunities to socialize. Those residents that may not be able to participate in the function of some activities, should still be brought to those activities in order to have human contact. The lack of human contact can increase the “Institutionalized” feelings of residents. For the bed ridden resident it is important to integrate social interaction into their daily living. This can be accomplished by having different staff members or volunteers spend time visiting with these residents. Family members should also be taught the importance of social interaction and should be encouraged to visit the resident as often as possible.

             The population of geriatric patients living in long term care facilities have a wide variety of self-care deficits, most of which cannot be returned to a self functioning status. The goal of Orem’s self-care theory is to help the patient help themselves wherever and whenever possible. When self-care is not maintained illness and/or death can occur. Even the geriatric person must have maintenance of self or they will perish. The universal self-care requisites are air, water, food, and elimination to sustain life physically but there must

also be maintenance between activity and rest, and solitude and isolation (Pearson, 2008).

            

             Nursing care in long term care facilities not only focus on the physical needs of the residents but also in ensuring that they have activities to keep their minds and bodies at a level of function that is within their capacity and providing for social interaction to fulfill the social needs that is a part of each human being. Though a patient may be bed or wheelchair ridden and might no longer be able to speak, the need for social interaction is imperative to their existence. The nurse can spend time at the bedside talking with the patient or encourage family members to engage in conversation with the patient to provide the social interaction needed. Placing a non-verbal patient in the dining room or making sure they attend social activities at the facility also gives the patient the social interaction they need even though they may not themselves be able to participate.