Over the lifespan the human body goes through a multitude of changes, some changes can be manipulated and some cannot. Every choice we are given changes the definition of health for the individual. Some choices such as; smoking cigarettes, employment opportunities and exposure to toxic chemicals for an extended period of time all effect the overall health for the individual. With these choices and a multitude of others development of persistent chronic illness, particularly emphysema is plausable. Emphysema is quickly becoming one of the top killers of the older-adult; emphysema damages the lungs beyond repair leaving the individual with an altered state of health.
Philosophy of Health
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infimity” (WHO, 2013). Health is a term determined by a variety of components, some components are easily manipulated an example of easily altered components are; smoking vs. non-smoking, participating in an active or sedentary lifestyle and employment opportunities. However there are many unavoidable components to health which cannot be altered such as; age, gender and genetic predisposition. The WHO outlines an emphasis on the importance of health promotion in early childhood “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions” (WHO, 2013). Promoting health care to children of early age will help to reinforce their views on their own future health. With health promotion becoming a large component in the world view, keeping active and remaining fit and happy will ultimately lead to the betterment of society as a whole. The authors own definition of health mirror the WHO’s definition to an extent. Health can be broken down into three categories; health promotion, self-evaluation and self-worth. Health promotion as previously defined by the WHO focuses on society as whole. Education at an early age is important to instill the values and fundamentals which can be used to define one’s personal health definition. Once an individual has the fundamentals of health, self-evaluation becomes the next goal. Self-evaluation is the basis of personalized health; this includes what the individual can change in their lifestyle to determine the outcome of future health. Self-evaluation will ultimately lead to a suited version of health, based on that individual’s needs, however this can be influenced by their views of self-worth. Self-worth is related to the individual’s mental and social well-being. Mental health plays a key role in the individuals overall health. If the individual is unable to create an adequate suited version of health, a lifetime of chronic ailments will begin to develop. A chronic illness will begin to deteriorate the individual’s perceived self-worth reducing both physical and mental health greatly.
Chronic Health Challenge
As the world begins to age, physical and psychological changes occur to the human body. The human body undergoes vast changes during the lifespan such as; reduction in the elasticity of the skin, muscles and organs. Touhy, Ebersoe and Hess (2011, p. 78) explain the changes of the respiratory system “The specific changes include loss of elastic recoil, stiffening of the chest wall, inefficiency in gas exchange, and increased air flow resistance… Respiratory problems are common but almost always result from exposure to environmental toxins (e.g., pollution, cigarette smoke), not the aging process”. In addition to the natural aging process, the continued exposure to harsh toxic chemicals vastly impairs the gas exchange rate in the lungs. The continued damage to the lungs begins to create chronic