Good Health: What Is It?
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an optimum condition of total health and not simply the absence of illness and infirmity.” A number of definitions have also been applied to it over the years. One school of thought defines health as the ability to cope with all life’s demands and survive them. The ability to thrive is also essential as well as having positive resources that can help one to adapt to new situations.
Health, in this sense, is about the maintenance of life course health as it moves forward rather than reacting to what can go wrong. It involves the assessment, and evaluation of risks and all the consequences thereof for the individual and his or her family. It also involves the building of capacity for facing the many challenges that we all face. Managing disease is an essential component of this life course. This is the ability to take control of a situation and make the best use of health resources in making things right.
For older adults, good health is about more than just a sum of the whole. It includes the ability to manage the many facets of their lives. This includes physical, mental, social, and emotional aspects. The ability to lead a healthy and active life course, coupled with a high level of social awareness, gives older adults a distinct advantage in today’s challenging environment.