Strategies- Concepts of Healthy Aging
January 24, 2018
NURS 481 Optimizing Older Adult Health
Instructor: Lindsay Thomas, RN, MN, NP
Strategies – Concepts of Healthy Aging
aging is a lifelong guide of physical and spiritual wellbeing. It gives hope to
older adults to add years to life and can be attained through healthy living. Healthy
aging enable the older people to be an active part of society. Purpose of this
paper is to define healthy aging, successful aging and aging well, outline the
misconceptions of aging, state various factors contributing to healthy aging, review
of assisting clients in incorporating healthy aging principles, describe
nursing strategies to maintain healthy aging as well as strategies for personal
healthy aging, and conclude the paper along with summary.
aging is defined “as the process of developing and maintaining the
functional ability that enable wellbeing in older age” (WHO, 2018). Flood,
(as cited in Elo, 2015) defined successful aging “as the individual’s
perceived satisfaction in adapting to the physical and functional changes of
ageing, while experiencing connectedness and a sense of meaning/ purpose in
life”. Aging well is defined “as having three components- a low risk
of disease and disease-related disability, high mental and physical engagement
and an active engagement with life” (Joseph, 2010).
Government, (2012) suggested various misconceptions of aging. First
misconception is that elderly people are all the same and are boring. Second,
all older people are having poor health, ill or disabled. Third, getting older
means becoming disabled and frail. Fourth, elderly people are senile, having
memory loss and lack mental sharpness. Fifth, health care cost is rising due to
increase in number of elderly people. Sixth, elderly people are financial
burden on society and their increase number will be ruinous to the economy. Seventh,
older people are considered as no longer productive after the retirement.
Eighth, Elderly people are lonely, depressed, sad and withdrawn from society. Ninth,
older adults are incapable to learn or change. Tenth, elderly people are unable
and unlikely to make close and sexual relationships. Last but not the least,
older adults are more prone to be robbed and can become victims of criminal
Contributing To Healthy Aging
& Su, (2017) suggested the combined effects of physical functioning,
cognitive, emotional health, and presence of comorbidities among elder adults
affect their health. Other factors like, age, gender, education, economic
status, health behaviours and social participation strengthen the health. Manasatchakun
et al. (2016) described the various factors that contribute to healthy aging
among older adults. These are residential area, gender, education level, income
level, age, marital status, underlying disease, disability, social support from
family and healthcare provider, and perceived meaningfulness in life (p.
Client In Incorporating Healthy Aging
aging can be incorporated in the elder people by providing age-friendly
environments and opportunities to make healthy choices. Always enjoy the
elderly diversity, invalidate ageism and decrease inequality among them. Participation
of elderly people should be supported and considered important. This will
enable them to be self-sufficient and improve their quality of life. Educate the
older people about skills of self-care and enable them to learn activities to
stay healthy like exercise, dancing. Self-help groups, family support should be
available that provide physical and emotional support. Avail safe, attractive
places to walk, accessible transportation, senior-friendly restaurants and
grocery stores that will reduce disparities (Brief).
must assess the condition of elderly people by collecting complete history and
thoroughly examine them. Functional assessment should also be done to assess
the ability to carry out tasks (Touhy & Jett, 2016, p. 74-86). Nurse should
improve the physical activities of seniors by active, passive exercise,
mobilization. Physical inactivity could result into premature death, chronic
diseases, illness and disability and decrease quality of life (British Columbia.
Ministry of Health, 2005).
should give healthy diet to the elder people. Healthy diet would decrease the
risk of developing heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer and improve
quality of life (British Columbia. Ministry of Health, 2005). Nurse should
maintain skin hygiene and inform older adults about skin hydration and use of
UVR protection to maintain skin integrity which delay aging by protecting the
infection via skin barrier (Blume-Peyatavi et al., 2016).
should screen the elder people for depression, dementia, communicable and
hearing disorders. Older people should be immunized to prevent invasive
pneumococcal infections (Davidhizar, Eshleman, & Moody, 2002). Nurse should
educate the elder adults about age-friendly communities like, self-help groups
that will provide psychological and emotional support to them (College &
Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, 2013).
For Personal Healthy Aging
aging can be attained by healthy living and healthy lifestyles. There are many
strategies which helps to maintain health in aging. Healthy eating is the main strategy
to attain liberty, improve their quality of life, and decrease risk of getting
chronic illness such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease,
respiratory disease and cancer. Physical activities like, exercise, yoga,
meditation also promote healthy aging. It improve wellbeing by strengthening
the muscles, bones, joints and enhance the quality of life.
from injuries especially unintentional such as fall, accidents has serious
consequences to elderly people. Education regarding risk factors related to
unintentional injuries and prevention strategies could be essential to
eliminate or minimize risk of getting injury. Cessation of smoking and minimum
intake of alcohol is also important strategy to prevent death and disease.
Smoking and excess alcohol intake could affect the respiratory system, liver
and other body organs which ultimately deteriorate the health.
care and personal hygiene should be maintained to prevent the illness and
improve health during later life. Decrease intake of sugar in diet also leads
to healthy aging as more sugar intake decrease the size of telomeres and
promote aging. Social support is another strategy that enhance mental and
physical wellbeing, increase life satisfaction, and prevent depression,
isolation and premature death due to suicidal attempts in older adults. Proper
health check-up, getting healthcare facilities and follow up is also crucial to
sustain health and prevent chance of occurrence of illness.
aging is an opportunity for the elder adult to maintain their good health and
take an active part in society. In this paper, I have discussed about healthy
aging, definition of healthy aging, successful aging and aging well, outlined
the misconceptions of aging, explained the factors contributing to healthy
aging, described how to assist the client to attain health in aging, nursing
strategies for elder client to maintain health in aging and strategies for
personal healthy aging has been described. At last, it can be said that aging
is neither a burden nor decrease person’s ability to contribute to society.
Elder people can contribute to society through healthy aging.
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