Health Promotion Essay Example: Healthy Aging

Published: 2022-07-08
Health Promotion Essay Example: Healthy Aging
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1279 words
11 min read

Healthy aging refers to the process through which opportunities for mental, social, and physical health or functional ability for the elderly are developed and optimized so as to enable them actively participate in the society, prolong their lives, and enjoy a good and autonomous quality of life (Illario et al., 2016). This poster discusses the topic of healthy aging, and analyzes the concepts and significance of health promotion as it relates to healthy aging, and the key themes or issues raised by healthy aging. The relevance of this poster presentation is that it highlights how health promotion can be used to effectively enhance healthy aging among the elderly.

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The Value of Health Promotion

According to the1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, health promotion refers to the process through which individuals are enabled to have more control over the factors that determine their health with the aim of improving their health and well-being. The importance of health promotion in enhancing the quality of life among communities cannot be overemphasized or gainsaid. To begin with, health promotion helps in positively influencing the working and living conditions that have an influence on health and shaping the behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge of communities and individuals concerning health.

Health promotion is also important because it helps improve nations', states', communities' families', and individuals' health status. Through health promotion, individuals and communities are made aware of some of the strategies they can use to improve their health. For instance, advocating for physical exercises by old people and discouraging old people from engaging in excessive smoking or drinking, health promotion improves their health status by reducing their vulnerability to cardiovascular and other lifestyle diseases.

Furthermore, health promotion helps in reducing premature deaths by encouraging people to live healthy lives and avoid any behaviors or activities that may endanger their health, such as tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol or drug use. Thus, health promotion is also important in that it enhances people's quality of life by educating them on healthy activities and behaviors relating to their health. Additionally, health promotion is important in that it reduced the human and financial costs involved in medical treatment. Also, besides focusing on keeping people healthy, health promotion help in empowering and engaging communities and individuals so as to enable them to choose healthy behaviors. This way, health promotion also helps in reducing the exposure of people to chronic diseases.

Key Concepts

The main concepts or ideas of health promotion include the promotion of civic and social engagement, optimization of health and well-being, addressing basic needs of communities and individuals, advocating for behavior, and building a healthy public policy. Other concepts of health promotion as per the Healthy Aging Research Network include developing personal skills, disease prevention, strengthening community action for health, and creating a supportive environment for health. Among the elderly population, health promotion concerning healthy aging should aim at addressing the basic needs of this population, such as access health services, transportation, access to healthy foods, and healthy activities. The health and wellbeing of the aging community may be optimized by encouraging the elderly to live healthy lives by avoiding activities, behaviors, or foods that may expose them to diseases.

Health promotion among the elderly population should also include encouraging active participation of old people in volunteerism, civic organizations and church, continuing education, employment, recreation, and arts (Coscrato & Bueno, 2013). These activities ensure that old people remain healthy and physically fit and hence less exposed to lifestyle and behavioral disorders. Also, creating an elderly-friendly and healthy aging community and mental health treatment are important concepts of health promotion. For, according to Hunter et al. (2013), community environments that are safe and well-designed promote healthy aging since they support healthful behaviors, enable old people to remain active, and hence prevent unintentional injuries and chronic illnesses. Therefore, health promotion of healthy aging ought to focus on creating healthy environments.

Specifically, there are particular behaviors and activities that should be integrated into health promotion strategies and campaigns with the aim of promoting healthy aging. These concepts include eating plenty of low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables, avoiding excessing eating of sweets, desserts, and pastries, and avoiding canned foods that contain high amounts of sodium. According to Kritchevsky (2016), since there is a direct link between nutrition and healthy aging, it is important for old people to eat foods that contain both micro and macronutrients.

Other activities that can promote healthy aging include participation in aerobic exercises such as dancing, swimming, or jogging, participation in strength training exercises, joining clubs, seeking support services, enrolling, and volunteering in the community. Integration in the community, participation in learning activities, limitation of alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and exercising have all been found to be important in preventing the loss of functional capacity and Inhibiting the development of chronic diseases, hence leading to improved quality of life (Golinowska, Groot, Baji, &Pavlova, 2016). Elderly people should also enroll in educational courses, drink plenty of fluids such as soups, milk, and water, limit their alcohol intake, spend more time outside, live in areas with accessible transport and health services, and live in areas where pollution is minimal. They should also eat balanced diets, get practice safety habits to prevent falls and avoid accidents, get regular checkups, quit smoking, and keep their body and mind active. Further, as Illario et al. (2016) state, it is possible to enhance active and healthy aging through physical exercises and social inclusion, personal accommodations, healthcare facilities, urban planning, and social infrastructure enablement.

Principal Themes and Issues

Finally, the principal themes and key issues related to healthy aging are a healthy weight, healthy eating, behavioral modification, awareness creation, behavioral and lifestyle change, ethical and cultural aspects of health promotion, inequality in health care, gender and aging, mental health, and active participation. The topic of healthy aging raises the issues of healthy eating and weight since these two life behaviors work against healthy aging as they expose old people to various chronic diseases. Hence, health promotion of healthy aging should focus on educating old people about the significance of healthy eating and weight. Behavioral modification and lifestyle change should also form part of health promotion activities so as to help eliminate those behaviors that adversely affect people's health in old age, such as smoking and eating of unhealthy fast foods.

However, the promotion of healthy aging also raises cultural and ethical issues, such as consent and privacy when dealing with the elderly population and hence one should take them into consideration. Also, issues of age, mental health, and inequalities in healthcare access for the elderly need to be considered so as to promote healthy aging among adults. Additionally, without actively involving the target population in health promotion, little progress can be made and hence the need to ensure the full participation of old people in identifying, developing, and adopting healthy aging behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge.


Coscrato, G.,& Bueno, S.M.V. (2013). Concepts of health education by public health nurses. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 47(3). Doi:

Golinowska, S., Groot, W., Baji, P., & Pavlova, M. (2016). Health promotion targeting older people. BMC Health Services Research, 16 (5), 345-350

Hunter, R.H., Anderson, L.A., Belza, B., Bodiford, K., Hooker, S.P., Kochtitzky, C.S., Marguez, D.X., & Satariano, W.A. (2013). Environments for healthy aging: Linking preventing research and public health practice. Preventing Chronic Diseases, 10, 55-60

Illario, M., Vollenbroek-Hutten, M.M.R., Molloy, D.M., Menditto, E., Iaccarino, G. & Eklund, P. (2016). Active and healthy aging and independent living in 2016. Journal of Aging Research, 2016, 1-3

Kritchevsky, S.B. (2016). Nutrition and healthy aging. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 71 (10), 1303-1305

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