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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ageism and Health Care Providers

About Ageism and Health Care Providers[1]

This article explores research about ageism and “…how ageism is still having a detrimental effect on healthy aging… It is argued that for a long-lasting change to occur, service providers need to directly target, these negative attitudes in themselves, their professional institutions, their clients and their communities.”

As early as 1947 the world health organization defined health as “…a complete state of physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease.”  In 1986 Welfare Canada defined health in terms of “quality of life which included the opportunity to make choices and gain satisfaction from living despite functional limitations, suggesting that health is a domestic process of interation between individuals and their communities. (Which reminds me that this weekend I need to do canvassing in my neighborhood for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.)

Among the important factors are diet and exercise. It has been reported that  “Diet and exercise have significant effects on carbohydrate metabolism osteoporosis, cholesterol levels, diabetes, blood pressure, respiratory functioning, and hydration.”

There are also emotional factors.  For example a longitudinal study in Sweden “…revealed that death rates increased by 48 percent for men and 26 percent for women within the first three months after losing their spouse.”

There are also some cognitive factors; for example the sense of control. “ A sense of control results from the belief that certain actions will lead to certain results and the conviction that one has the capacity to produce those results. But keep in mind that “ Successful aging cannot be equated with total independence and lack of reliance on others.  (Hummm, here comes my wife whom I am working with to fix the upstairs bathroom floor.)  This leads to a note on self-esteem.
A review of literature by the author found that “…correlates the of self-esteem unique to older adults were health status and attitudes toward aging.”    For more information go to the original article.

[1]  Grant, Linda (1996)  Health and Social Work, Vol. 21 Issue 1

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