What Is Good Health?
The best way to view health is as an arc: a narrow focal point representing the interaction between the mind, body and spirit. Health, as the World Health Organization describes it, is “an indivisible condition of the total human being in body, mind and spirit whereby all the three aspects of a man’s life meet and interact successfully.” A number of different definitions have been use for many purposes over the years. The American Heritage Dictionary defines health as, “the quality of being able to withstand physical hardship, suffering, or pain.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, good health is achieved through a life course that “reflects the experiences of people from different ages, backgrounds, financial resources, and health status.” A good life course is comprised of stages that progress through different life events. Healthy eating, regular exercise, weight management, stress management, and avoiding risky behaviors are all components of a good life course. As one progresses through the course, they will experience illness, sometimes in severity, depending on their health status and personal habits.
A disease management plan for older adults focuses on preventing illnesses that can be brought on by common lifestyle diseases. It recognizes that lifestyle, diet, genetics, and environment are contributors to health. The disease management plan for older adults focuses on prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disease or conditions of greatest concern to older adults. This is done through a multidisciplinary approach involving medical specialists, psychologists, nutritionists, and other people who have experience in dealing with older adults. In addition, some of these groups may engage in joint practices with other like-minded professionals to address problems that exist in the older adult population. A program that targets prevention is one approach that helps to make the disease management plan for older adults effective.
Managing disease becomes easier when the older adults involved in the health policy setting have some understanding of geriatric symptoms and aging. When a person is diagnosed with any type of chronic health condition it becomes necessary for them to enter into a life course of action that includes disease management, nutrition, exercise, and mental health. There is a need to make these life courses a priority. When the above mentioned basics for age old health issues are in place there is a better chance of slowing the aging process. Managing disease becomes easier.
Many individuals fail to realize that sickness is an inevitable part of life, that most people will get sick at some point. Illness definition is an important element of designing a comprehensive disease management plan for older adults. Illness defines health as a state of complete physical, emotional and social wellbeing and not merely the lack of disease or infirmity. Health at every age is influenced by the wellness of the persons who are surrounding us.
The state of good health can be maintained through a combination of healthy lifestyle choices including a balanced diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking and consuming alcohol in moderation. A solid multidimensional approach to wellness needs to be considered when designing a public health program designed to meet the needs of older citizens. The primary objective of a well-rounded program is to promote well-being through prevention and early detection. Community-based programs are more effective in achieving this goal than medical interventions. Designing a comprehensive community plan that includes quality health promotion strategies and involving all family members is the best strategy for a long term and cost-effective public health program.