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The Need To Be Needed

Connie Michaelis, Marketing Consultant for The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support

It is one thing to say, ‘I love you,’ as a matter of fact, it can be said very casually, but what if someone says, “I need you?” That expression is used less frequently and can be deeply meaningful. On one side, the seeker shows a certain vulnerability, and on the other side, it can give someone else a sense of purpose. The appeal of volunteerism is based on this powerful emotion. No matter your age, it is important to feel needed. Nothing thrills me more than having one of my children call and ask me how to cook something or ask for some advice. It still makes me feel needed as their mom.

As we grow older and less active, we may fall into the trap of thinking we are no longer needed. Our culture is so fixated on productivity; it’s difficult to feel useful when you have retired and raised your kids and grandkids. Yes, you may need to clean the house or take out the trash, but that is not the same as being needed by another person. It is the human connection that is necessary. Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. says, “We know that the desire to love and care for others is hard-wired and deep-seated because fulfillment of this desire enhances our happiness levels. In other words, expressing love or compassion for others benefits not just the recipient of affection, but also its perpetrator.” Whether through volunteer work or assisting your neighbor, it is always important to be needed. At The Piper, our household model encourages residents, families and staff to truly know one another. The opportunity to help others is just next door – sometimes it is as simple as giving an encouraging word! Give us a call at 913.400.7006 and experience the difference.