Old Age

Defining health and illness was some what difficult for me seeing there is so much involved in both. When I defined health I said it was not having a disease and to feel energized and satisfied with ones emotions and body. While I defined illness as ones body not functioning properly and inhibiting their daily life.  The criteria that I used to come up with these definitions came from a variety of places including society, personal experiences and school. Society makes us think if one looks “bad” that they are unhealthy and therefore ill. While from general life experiences I have learned, as most of us have, that one can not look “normal” but still be healthy. Lastly school has taught me how to define such broad words to fit several different aspects of health and illnesses.

The condition of old age is not an illness in my eyes. Old age is a process in life that most everyone goes through. Although with age more illness comes about for many people. Age does not always mean illness will occur. It is a stereotype that has you get older you will not be able to do certain things in life like sports or being self sufficient due to health related issues. I know my eighty two year old grandpa still golfs eighteen holes several times a week and does some major landscaping projects along with traveling. Age is just a number if you are a healthy person than you are simply a healthy person no matter your age.

The second condition that I had trouble seeing as an illness is poverty. Poverty is not a health condition it is an economic status. There may be higher rates of health issues with in poverty stricken areas, but poverty itself is not an illness. More illness may be common for people in poverty because of unhealthy living conditions causing diseases or due to little money to pay for medical help. Theses are the difficult areas in the health field that need the most help, but again poverty itself I do not see as an illness.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mutaz Juma says:

    I agree with you that Old age is not considered an illness because everybody goes through the stage of late adulthood. During this stage (mid-sixties and after), older adults tend to reflect on their lives. It is the stage where some older adults find themselves happy and satisfied with their life choices, or they find themselves filled with despair over missed opportunities or mistakes that they have made during their lives. However, the cultural views of aging is different from one culture to another. For instance, the view of aging is often regarded as negative in the American society, where nuclear families are the norm. Young adults enjoy the greatest status and the elderly are more often rejected in the American society. As a result, older adults might feel despaired and regretful about their past and have a fear of aging. In contrast, the South American people view older adults as the wise and knowledgeable members of the society in which intergenerational families are the norm. As a result, older adults look forward for aging rather than attempting to push back the aging process and appear young.

    McGreal, Cathleen. “Socialization.” In Lifespan Development Across Cultures. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2014. .

    • Meredith Joseph says:

      Hi Mutaz,
      Reading the view on ageing from a different culture’s perspective is refreshing and so nice to hear. I think the American culture should learn to appreciate the wisdom old age brings and not try and stop all forms of ageing. If we looked up to the elderly old age wouldn’t be seen as an “illness” to some in the American culture.

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