Identifying and Defining Characteristics of Wellness

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Wellness

Define wellness

Wellness or well-being can be defined as being healthy. It is the state of being free of any forms of psychological or physical illnesses or malfunctions. Due to the presence of pathogens, emotional and psychological stress, humans will at some point experience short or long term complications which necessitate holistic medicine. Holistic medicine which is a healing process that takes into consideration the whole person in terms of body, spirit, mind, and emotions is thus crucial to achieve optimal health and wellness, thus a proper balance in life (Ouchida, Mark & Lachs, 2015).  Wellness can be said to be the extent to which a person(s) is able to realize aspirations and satisfy needs and to change or cope with the changes within the environment and coexist with other living things in an ecosystem.

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Describe diseases, or health conditions, prevalent in this population? List at least three and define

Some of the chronic diseases/health conditions affecting the old population today include diabetes mellitus, arthritis, cancer, heart diseases and/or stroke (Pizzorno, 2015).

Diabetes Mellitus-It is a chronic complication affecting the body’s ability to utilize food-bound energy. Type 1 and 2, and gestational diabetes are three major types of diabetes experienced by the old populations. Diabetes renders the body either incapable of producing enough insulin quantities, utilizing produced insulin or a combination of the two. As a result of the inability of the cells to take in the glucose, its accumulation in the blood builds up to high levels which end up damaging capillaries of the nervous system, kidneys or the heart. Eventually, this may lead to stroke, heart and kidney diseases or nerve damage (Cold et al., 2017). The symptoms of this LTC may be absent, subdued or even pronounced. Symptoms include excessive urine secretion, polydipsia, weight loss, and tiredness. Approximately 150 million people suffer from diabetes globally and the number is anticipated to rise due to advances in age, unhealthy feeding or obesity. Good diet and physical activity of the body are some of the measures in mitigating such conditions (WHO, 2017).

Rheumatoid Arthritis-It is an autoimmune disease affecting bones and joints of the knees, wrists, fingers or limbs when the immune system attacks joints and in most cases the joint effects are symmetrical. As a result, the joints swell and pains due to tissue thickening (synovium). If prolonged without any interventions, it can lead to loss of cartilages or bones thus impaired mobility (body stiffness). Since the complication is systematic, it may lead to disrupted cardiovascular and respiratory systems. 1.5 million people in the US are estimated to have the disease. Thus, early diagnosis is necessary for its control apart from the surgery done in severe conditions.

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Cancer-it is caused by the abnormal and continuous unregulated proliferation/growth of cancer cells. These cells divide uncontrollably thus attacking normal tissues and organs which can spread all over the body. Cancer is of several types, for example, the cervical, lung, and throat cancer types which are caused by carcinogens. Additionally, cancer can be induced due to viral infection, radiations and carcinogenic chemicals which damage DNA and cause mutations. It is observed that smoking significantly leads to the loss of many cancer patients (Cooper, 2017). Some of the methods employed to reduce cancer are a healthy lifestyle, reduced smoking and redced exposure to radioactive chemical materials.

What are some physical risks factors for this population? Why? List at least three.

Physical risk factors range from social, psychological and biological and these include frailty, limited mobility, chronic pain, bereavement, disabilities or a drop in socioeconomic status.

Such factors lead to a deterioration in the physical, psychological and social well-being of the old since they lead to isolation, solitude, psychological distress and perhaps the loss of independence. It is important to note that physical health is dependent on the mental health of a person and vice versa. Generally, people suffering from heart disease most likely suffer depression too which disrupts psychosocial developments and impacts negatively on physical health. Emotional, financial, sexual or physical abuse can result in physical injuries and acute long-term psychological consequences such as anxiety and depression.  Additionally, impaired movement and chronic pain result in reduced physical activity and inflammations which expose them to the risk of obesity, varicose vein or diabetes.

What are some psychosocial issues encountered in caring for this population? List and define at least two.

These issues include depression, loneliness, anxiety, agitation, dementia and social exclusion.

Anxiety and phobia-is a state of worry and nervousness/stress conditions dominantly expressed in diverse forms of mental disorders with various symptoms. Psychosocial and emotional distress manifest in various ways ranging from reduced concentration, isolation, trauma or low self-esteem and nervousness.

Social exclusion-This sometimes happens due to solitude or unclose family ties, loss of friends and diminished cultural origin connections hence reduced social/community activity participation (Singh & Misra, 2009). Age and ability thus determine societal relationships and activities doable by old people, excluding them from essential services such as education, effective medical care, work, entertainment and integrated life.

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Ageism

Define ageism

It is discrimination or prejudice based on the age of a person (age difference), especially between the middle-aged and old persons. It refers to how old people are treated even though occasionally it used to define prejudice against youths. Ageism is of three types i.e. adultism, gerontocracy or jeunism. Robert Neil (1969) and Iversen et al., (2009) describes old age, prejudice and aging process as the three interconnected elements defining ageism. Stereotypes towards the old population include poor memory, slowness, and inactivity, lack of technical know-how or inability to contribute to the society. However, to the younger generation, it involves lack of wisdom or knowledge rendering them unable to have independent decision-making ability and behave maturely. Adultism favors adults over young people, for example hiring an adult instead of a young person who is viewed immature and incapacitated without actual evidence while jeunism favors young people over the old; for example, youths may land a job due to the fresh knowledge they bring in, technological knowledge and energy at work. Nevertheless, ageism affects everyone at one point of their life or another as nobody remains a child forever.

Does ageism affect healthcare for the older adult? Explain?

Due to their little technological know-how, health providers may become reluctant to discuss technology with patients as they fear that they may shy away from it, develop nervousness, pain, and aches as part of the aging process. Due to limited mobility, old people face the challenge of carrying out daily activities which lead to a reduction in activity, thereby exposing them to the risk of contracting some diseases like obesity and varicose veins. Additionally, they are faced with medication problems i.e. loss of memory leading to medical nonadherence, financial constraints resulting from job loss, reduced ability to work and earn a living, unwelcoming young doctors who may have negative attitude towards the old or loss of interest in living as they may feel their age is burdensome and bothersome to the community (Pizzorno, 2015).

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What are some consequences experienced by the older adult as a result of ageism?

Some of the obvious consequences can be categorized into both mental and physical consequences such as bumbling, impaired recovery, crankiness, high-level stress, child-like, and helplessness. Old people are affected by age discrimination with its major cost being an economic dependency and poverty which is at the extreme end. Additionally, it affects public attitude towards the aged majorly influenced by the media, job prospects (job loss), confidence and quality of life of a person. This group of people also experiences poor service at shopping places due to the public’s attitudes, non-legibility to personal independence payment benefits, denial of doctor referrals or membership in clubs or trade association due to their advanced age. Due to prejudice and discrimination of age, old people sometimes lose the reason for living and view themselves as a burden to the society. They also end up poor, leading low lives as most of them cannot work as they are weak, lack employment and have lost contact with close family members and friends.

Community Resources

What are community resources available in Nevada for the older adult who is homebound, institutionalized, or living independently in the community? List at least two and describe.

There are three types of care provided by Nevada. These include supportive services that make it possible  for senior citizens to remain homebound rather than being institutionalized care, transportation for existing or new services to help senior citizens live independently and respite care for relief of informal caretakers that the Aging and Disability Services Division will allocate the available ILGs for persons with Alzheimer’s disease. The Older Americans Act Amendments of 2006 established key priority clients. They include low income older and minority individuals, the aged residing in the rural areas, those with limited English proficiency and those at risk of institutional placement or with greatest economic or social needs. Supportive care ranges from adult day care, case management, food pantry, homemaker services, home safety, repair and modification and legal services. Transportation services enhance mobility thus reducing isolation and solitude, which improves overall health and well-being.

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What are some health promotion activities for older adults? Describe at least two.

These include employing preventive health guidelines and developing strategic policies such as food pricing, fear to instill policies and/or enhanced care. Other ways through which practitioners promote health among the old is via frail nursing home care, spending time with each individual to give comfort, counselling, advocating for more personalized care and LTC management, media education and promotion on the need for youths to have a positive attitude towards the elderly, personal growth and social contribution and support (Ouchida, Mark & Lachs, 2015). Additionally, it is essential to ensure interpersonal management, allowing flexibility in choices, proper feeding programs, disease immunization, engaging in physical body exercise, early screening and detection of disease and controlling them early enough.

Conclusion

Summarize your thoughts and opinions on optimal health for the older adult and what you have learned from this assignment.

In order to achieve a healthy aging population today and in future, there is a need to ensure better psychosocial, mental and physical development. The old population deserves to be taken care of well as they play a significant role and were once youthful and actively participated in the developments we enjoy today. A healthy nation comes with several benefits that are admirable to any person concerned. Some of the merits which make this program vital are the reduced cost of treatment, improved living standards and reduced anxiety among the elderly. The government and the health sector at large have been on the run to develop healthcare strategies for providing both LCT patients and the old with satisfactory care. However, various challenges such as unemployment, bereavement, solitude, poverty among the few number of health facilities available in the estates impede this process thereby making adult care a difficult task.

I have learned that despite the prejudice and discrimination of age, we are all victims as nobody will ever remain a child. Having known this therefore, it important to care for the old the same way we would care for the young because without them, the population will never be complete. The old act as an information store, history and a reflection of the past and future for the younger generation. Through this assignment, I have been able to learn that the misery and stress that old people are in is controllable and diminishable by the young people who play an important role in relieving the health practitioner’s arduousness in their duties. Lastly, I have learned that nobody chooses to be old and to suffer but we are responsible for our own health and through support services and care we are able to age gracefully with minimal stress.

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What education would you provide as a nurse to the community in promoting optimal aging in one’s neighborhood, church etc…?

As a nurse, I will educate young people on how to live strong and healthy even in their old ages to reduce the burden on aging presents and let them appreciate the already old population as part of them. I will advocate for regular exercise and feeding programs to ensure good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Additionally, this will be espoused by encouraging regular medical checks to help in early detection of diseases and to control them, and majorly advice on the importance of medication adherence in relation to health.

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  1. Cold, F., Health, E., Disease, H., Management, P., Conditions, S., & Problems, S. et al. (2017). Types of Diabetes Mellitus. WebMD. Retrieved 2 September 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/types-of-diabetes-mellitus#1
  2. Cooper, G. (2017). The Development and Causes of Cancer. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2 September 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9963/
  3. Ouchida, K. M., & Lachs, M. S. (2015). Not for doctors only: ageism in healthcare. Generations, 39(3), 46-57.
  4. Pizzorno, J. (2015). Hard to be healthy in North America. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 14(3), 8.
  5. Singh, A., & Misra, N. (2009). Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 18(1), 51. http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0972-6748.57861
  6. WHO. (2017). WHO | Diabetes mellitus. Who.int. Retrieved 2 September 2017, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs138/en/
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