Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an overall condition of total health, physical well-being in the whole body and not just the absence of illness and disease.” Different definitions have been applied for various purposes over the years. It has also been described as a state of well-being. This health condition is the sum total of all the essential parts of your being and the resultant interdependence leads to an individual’s ability to attain and sustain optimum health.
The pursuit of an optimal well-being is an ongoing personal practice. No two persons are exactly alike and even the same persons can achieve different levels of well-being. Some people have healthy lifestyles, but suffer from psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety. Other people may be physically healthy, yet struggle with mental health problems that impact their ability to live a full life.
One of the most important components of optimal health is good health management. Health management includes a variety of aspects including diet, nutrition, stress management, social well-being, and exercise. The ability to manage stress depends on the nature of the person’s work and family life. Stress management for older adults requires working with a qualified professional who can evaluate the individual’s lifestyle and develop an effective strategy for achieving optimal mental health. These professionals can provide information about stress and its effect on the body as well as recommend simple techniques for reducing stress through diet, nutrition and exercise.
Many people do not realize that maintaining good health can be a complex matter that involves lifestyle, diet, medications, psychology and physical health. Older adults who are suffering from a mental illness need to work with a professional who can evaluate their lifestyle and develop an effective stress management strategy for managing the illness as well as for promoting good health. The mental health of an individual is just as important as the physical health. A person who is mentally healthy will be able to work successfully and efficiently in the workplace and will be capable of managing daily stressors and developing a good social well-being.
Older adults in developed countries often fall victim to public health and well-being initiatives that promote weight loss and other fad diets. This can be dangerous for those who suffer from a mental illness that interferes with maintaining good health. For example, individuals who have depression are at increased risk of developing obesity and other chronic health conditions that can deteriorate over time and complicate life-long issues.
Older adults in developed countries often lead active lives and are aware of the importance of maintaining good health and weight control. However, in many of the less-developed countries, old age is viewed as a natural process that tends to leave people susceptible to developing a range of health problems, including diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. This can have detrimental effects on the mental and physical well-being of seniors. Fortunately, programs that promote physical well-being among this population can help maintain a healthy lifestyle and ward off other diseases that can affect the mind and body.