"Importance Of Health Promotion Throughout The Lifespan" is a perfect example of a paper on wellness and lifestyle. This research paper aims to discuss the thought that an individual experiencing chronic illness can be healthy. Health and chronic illness would both be defined. Further, these definitions would be utilized to determine the means for an individual to be healthy despite the chronic illness. INTRODUCTION “ Health is wealth” . This is one of the oldest and most common sayings which emphasize the value of good health. The irony of this is that despite one's adeptness in the health topic, there is absolutely no guarantee of perfect health in a lifetime. The responsibility of looking after one's health is shared by the person himself, his family, and the local community. The emergences of issues pertinent to health services make health the concern, not only by a nation but on a global scale. It is precisely the issues that surround health and chronic illness that this paper is written.
The objective of this discourse is to discuss the thought that an individual experiencing chronic illness can still be healthy.
Health and chronic illness would both be defined. Further, these definitions would be utilized to determine the means for an individual to be healthy despite the chronic illness. DEFINITION OF TERMS The most appropriate definition of health is the one defined by the World Health Organization, to wit: “ health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” . (WHO 1948) On the other hand, chronic illness is defined as “ … an illness that is permanent or lasts a long time.
It may get slowly worse over time. It may lead to death, or it may finally go away. It may cause permanent changes to the body. It will certainly affect a person's quality of life. " (Chronic Illness Alliance 2009). For a person with chronic illness to be considered healthy, that person must exhibit mobility and be able to function and be productive, living a normal life, despite the illness. STATISTICS Various studies have been conducted to formulate that about 45% of the US population is known to have one or more chronic illness and this illness account for 78% of all health care spending.
It is estimated that longevity in women is more as compared to men, women of the age group 65- 85 relates to 80% of the chronic condition whereas only 33% of men of that age are known to have a chronic illness. (Managing Care for Adults with Chronic Conditions par. 2) As people live longer more concern is required for chronic illness since immunity to chronic illness cannot be developed. (Chronic Conditions p. 1) It is a matter of great apprehension as the entire family is involved and associates have to change their lifestyles.
People poor with income are more susceptible, most women of income range below $20,000 suffer from arthritis (21%) and hypertension (17%) as compared to a higher-income group or those earning above $50,000. (Chronic Conditions p. 3) IDENTIFICATION OF LEARNING NEEDS Patients with chronic illness such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, among others, have actual and potential learning needs. (Delaune and Ladner p. 424) Chronic disorders can impair mobility and therefore “ interfere with learning psychomotor skills as a result of decreased flexibility and dexterity of the fingers” .
(Delaune and Ladner p. 424) Other chronic illnesses such as diabetes require continuing education and monitoring of their health situation and their ability to take care of themselves. Diabetes required regular monitoring of levels of blood sugar which is affected by the nature of the patient’ s diet and physical activity. Further, for those patients afflicted with hypertension, there should be a constant reminder to religiously take antihypertensive medications to ensure compliance and to maintain the required blood pressure. HOW TO STAY HEALTHY DESPITE THE CHRONIC ILLNESS Delaune and Lader (p.
292) aver that support and education are two nursing interventions needed by patients with chronic illnesses. Accordingly, there should be goals for caring for people with chronic illnesses. These goals should include the following: (1) coping with lifestyle changes and the subsequent modification of self-care activities; (2) coping with long-term discomfort or pain; (3) establishing or maintaining a sense of personal control; and (4) maintaining positive self-esteem. (Edelman & Mandle 2002). By these discourse, the main focus for nurses is to instil and develop a coping mechanism for patients with chronic illness.
Nurses should emphasize the need to enforce to the patients the things which can be done and not focus on the illness itself. There are two methods of prevention for chronic illness: primary and secondary. The primary prevention of chronic illness is “ by educating people about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle” (Chronic Care par. 7) to prevent the disease from occurring. Those afflicted with any chronic illness can see the same nurse for repeat visits where they can be provided with a special card or sticker to ensure continuity of primary health care.
The main obligation of the health care practitioner in this level of care is to make the patients aware of the risk factors of the disease. The following methods can also be implemented as primary prevention methods: “ arrangements are made by the clinic to minimize patient travel (especially by the elderly) by prescribing supplies of drugs to the last one to three months. Staff often facilitates the initiation of clubs and special support groups for people with chronic diseases.
In this way, a patient can get more information on special care and health education pertaining to their condition. ” (Chronic Care par. 8) Secondary prevention measures need reducing the risk of aggravating chronic illness factors by focusing on the patients who have been detected of having these illnesses. “ In respect to secondary prevention of chronic illness, major advances in recent years have included the development of simple inexpensive tests for early detection of many chronic diseases-and the assembling of these into a battery of tests for screening large groups of apparently well people, called multiphasic or multiple screening. ” (Breslow p.
1541) Further, the health care practitioner should encourage periodic health examinations and frequent medical updates on relevant issues surrounding chronic illnesses. ANALYSIS Chronic illness causes a disruption in the normal functional abilities of an individual. The onset of these illnesses may cause irreversible lifelong changes. In this regard, health care practitioners should never focus on the disease; but rather on the coping mechanisms that would enable the afflicted person to function appropriately despite the illness. The focus should be in developing a positive outlook on life.
As emphasized by Edelman and Mandel (2002), the goal is to establish that the patient can practice personal control. It is not the disease that should control them – but it should be the other way around. Further, by maintaining positive self-esteem, the individual would be able to overcome whatever obstacles one might be facing, as a consequence of the chronic illness. Claude Bernard postulated that “ the internal environment of the body was what decided whether or not we remained healthy or became ill.
An unhealthy body invited pathogens to grow, while they were unable to grow in a balanced and healthy environment” . (Easy Immune System Health par. 10) CONCLUSION In the article on Prevention of Chronic Illness, Breslow proved that this has been the concern of health care practitioners as early as 5 decades ago. His conclusion is aptly quoted here to confirm that this issue is still relevant and true until the present times: “ health departments, state and local, working with the medical profession, voluntary health agencies, and many other community groups are now gaining the experience necessary to carry through the next great achievement in preventive medicine-the prevention of chronic illness.
In this endeavour, they will need and receive the broadest possible public support. ” (Breslow p. 1542) More than public support, it is really the individual’ s attitude and state of mind towards health and illness which would determine the state of one’ s health condition in life. Despite chronic illness and their possible debilitating effects, the most that a health practitioner can provide is good education and support.
An individual with chronic illness can still stay healthy if all preventive measures are enforced and if a positive attitude is maintained.
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