Old age

Before I was asked to give the word health a definition I was completely confident in my understanding and use of the word. Having to come up with a way to define what health or being healthy was proved to be more difficult than I would have imagined. I guess I think of being healthy as a feeling and that is hard to put into words. I settled on defining health as a state of being where an individual experiences no physical, mental or social discomfort and has all their physiological processes operating without external aide. I came up with this definition based on previous experience, my familial background and society. I consider myself a healthy person because like the video stated, I am not currently taking any pills for any ailments, I exercise regularly and consider myself physically and emotionally fit. I’m not overly sad or emotional without reason.

From the definitions given for illness and disease it was a little easy to sort out the list but there were a couple illnesses I had a little trouble placing in that category without hesitation. Illness was defined as the human experience and perceptions in the alterations in health, I placed old age in this category because even though I agree that it is a normal progression and occurrence of life most “diseases” associated with old age i believe are only perceptions of the individuals.

I also placed poverty in this category after careful consideration. I don’t think poverty is only in one’s mind, it is a real life situation that unfortunately many people face and it also has physical manifestations in the way of clothing and lifestyle but i do not believe that these can cause a person disease (to a certain degree). My last debate was with Erectile Dysfunction. I ended up placing this in the illness category but i’m not 100% behind that. It does have physical manifestations (or lack of…) but I think it stems from what goes on with the individuals psyche.

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  1. Sultan Qiblawi says:

    In Native American culture, old age is far from being considered an ailment or disease. In their culture, growing old is celebrated and people who are older are looked up to for their vast knowledge about life. Within Native American families, it is expected for elders to pass down their learnings to younger members of the family. I believe that this role for the elders is not present in our society. The fact that we can even consider old age as a disease shows that we do not place the same importance on old age in our society as others do in their societies. Delisa, I like how you stated that old age is not an illness and I agree that there are certain ailments that people are more prone to as they get older. In other cultures, old age is not condemned or seen as a condition that needs to be cured. The article I read stated that, “aging isn’t just a biological process — it’s also very much a cultural one.” I agree with this statement because there are many different cultural implications that go into growing old and passing down experiences to the younger generations.

    Gregoire, Carolyn. “7 Cultures That Celebrate Aging And Respect Their Elders.” The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/what-other-cultures-can-teach_n_4834228.html (accessed July 2, 2014).

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