20563_opinnaytetyon_asettelumalli Oikea Versio! Essay Cultural Perspestives Paper Oikea Versio

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    Aku Forsman

    Anna-Sofia Waltari

    Jennika Ruohonen

    Sanna Airio

    HEALTH OF THE ELDERLY PEOPLE IN FINLAND

    Bachelors Degree of Health Care

    2012

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    1 INTRODUCTION

    This essay will describe the health and well-being of elderly people in Finland. First

    we will look at some terms that are commonly used to describe the concept of healthand understand the different health determinants. The elderly people in Finland share

    some common factors in their healthiness but there is great variation between indi-

    viduals. Physical heritage, environment, personal choices and coincidence are known

    to be very important throughout life.

    We consider how the society tries to promote the healthiness of the elderly people in

    Finland. We also look at some ways how diseases are prevented in this age group.We will tell you about some medical conditions that elderly people suffer from in

    Finland. The essay includes goals and strategies for improving the health of the sen-

    ior population. At the end of this essay we will introduce some everyday ways to

    promote the health of the elderly people.

    Making a diagnosis for an older person is often difficult. Symptoms may change rap-

    idly and the information received from the patient or family is not always accurate.Many people between ages 75 and 85 have two or three separate diseases. Speech,

    vision or hearing may be poor after a stroke or an operation. Overall well-being or

    state of mind has an effect on the information given to the medical staff. You can still

    sometimes hear older people in Finland claim that they were perfectly healthy until

    they visited the doctors office, even if the doctor has come close to saving a life.

    (Aejmelaeus, Kan, Katajisto & Pohjola 2007)

    The regional differences in life expectancy are mainly caused by cardiovascular dis-

    eases, alcohol, accidents and violence. Socio-economic mortality differences can be

    explained by violent deaths, heavy use of alcohol, circulatory and respiratory diseas-

    es. Lifestyles, the use of health services, living and working environment and even

    marital status can make a persons health better or worse. (Health in Finland 2006)

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    2 EXPLANATIONS OF THE TERMS

    2.1 HEALTH

    Health as the term is many-sided and the explanations vary very meaningfully

    between the different cultures. There are very much different explanations for the

    term and the only one is not going to be the best one. Health as a term can

    be explained on many ways depending on the origin. WHO (World health organiza-

    tion) claims that health is not only the lack of symptoms and diseases but also perfect

    social, physical and mental health. Some problems can be found out because the

    claim is utopian and its impossible to earn never.

    FUNCTIONAL term examines the health functionally: human is healthy when he

    survives from the normal every day routines.

    SUBJECTIVELY human can feel him healthy although he suffers from some ill-

    nesses or diseases like cancer. Humans attitude towards life is the best indicator

    when finding out humans healthiness.

    MEDICAL explanation describes health to be good or even excellent when nothing

    symptoms, illnesses or diseases have been diagnosed by a doctor.

    SCIENTIFIC explanations highlight health as the vital strength which helps human

    to solve the problems and encourages meet them without fear.

    RAATIKAINEN, STEDT-KURKI ERIKSSON AND HERBERTS tell that health

    is the meaning of life and important for the humans well-being. This shows the mul-

    tidimensionality of health: the gratification of the physical need, social relationships,

    working order and the experienced good feeling are the combinations of health.

    (stedt-Kurki 1992, Eriksson & Herberts 1992, DeMeester et al. 1994, Hggman-

    Laitila 1999).

    2.2 WELL-BEING

    Every person has personal possibilities and abilities to feel him well-being. Accord-

    ing to scientific resources the most important thing for persons we ll-being is per-

    sons own acceptance and this kind of way to feel him enough good. These feelings

    and thoughts impact straightly persons zest for life and are included in the develop-

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    ment of personal qualities. Eric Allardt describes this term with the words having

    (You have something around you), loving (You have somebody to love) and being

    (You feel yourself happy and lucky). High feeling of coherence (SOC by Aaron

    Antonovsky) helps person to solve the hardships and problems better than them who

    dont have as good abilities to solve them. Some sources claim that the people who

    think positively about life will live even ten times longer compared with the others

    whose attitudes towards life are negative. The scientific resources explain this kind

    of resources with positive peoples good ability to organize time between family-life,

    work-time and free- time. They can concentrate on one thing at one moment but they

    have possibilities to do many times at the same time if needed. Lucky people have

    aims and dreams which they can dream on. The most important thing, they think that

    they have aim at reach them some day. People who flourish are very much connect-

    ing with their family, friends and society where they live. They know the meaning of

    life: they have reasons to wake up every morning. (Fredrickson, 2009, 17, translator

    A. M.)

    2.3 REHABILITATION

    Rehabilitation is a process which you may need after a serious injury, illness or sur-

    gery. You may recover slowly. Your speed of rehabilitation depends on your need to

    regain your strength, relearn skills or find new ways of doing things you did before.

    Rehabilitation often focuses on physical therapy to help your strength, mobility and

    fitness, occupational therapy to help you with your daily activities, speech-language

    therapy to help with speaking, understanding, reading, writing and swallowing and

    treatment of pain. The type of therapy and goals of therapy may be different for dif-

    ferent people. For example an older person who has had a stroke may simply want

    rehabilitation to be able to dress or bathe without help so he needs help with the

    normal every day routines. The goal of rehabilitation is to assist an ill person, physi-

    cally challenged or bad working orders well-being, initiative, employment, co-

    operation and personal survival (Ministry of social affairs and health 2012).

    Rehabilitation of people with disabilities is a process aimed at enabling them to

    reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and

    social functional levels. Rehabilitation provides disabled people with the tools they

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    need to attain independence and self-determination. (web pages of WHO, citation

    26th March 2012).

    2.4 HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

    The connection of health and environment is clear. Environment impacts health ei-

    ther positively or negatively. Many other things like physical heritage or genes, per-

    sons ways to live and happenstance impact at the same time humans healthiness.

    Persons own choices and his health behavior are only one part of the whole comb i-

    nation but their significance is certain. Environmental health includes those views

    about humans health and disease which are impacted by environment factors. Itmeans too that theory and those operations by can be established and controlled the

    impressive factors of health. (Ympristterveystoimikunta 1997, 13). Many scientific

    resources have been made about environment health. According to surveys environ-

    ment impacts very meaningfully humans health. For example this kind of infor-

    mation we can notice if we start to find out the disaster of Tsernobyl in 1986. People

    living at that site of accident in Ukrainian have suffered very much from environ-

    mental poisons, pollution and high radiation enlarging the risk to get a cancer etcetera. We have an one confident evidence why its important to live in healthy area

    in the world.

    2.5 HEALTH PROMOTION FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE

    Active Ageing relates to many aspects of the ageing experience health care, life-

    style, social involvement, productivity and active engagement. The World HealthOrganization adopted the term in the late 1990s. Older people sometimes face chal-

    lenges in trying to remain active and healthy. The most important thing is to sustain

    elderly peoples working order avoiding as much as possible succumbing to hospi-

    tals. Someday ageing person will need more intensive care and in this case its very

    important that nurses will utilize elderly persons own capacity to make every day

    routines.

    Salutogenesis concentrates on humans positive sides. The term describes an ap-proach focusing on factors that support human health and well-being, rather than on

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    factors that cause disease. More specifically, the "salutogenic model" is concerned

    with the relationship between health, stress and coping.

    PREVENTION

    Primary prevention is the first step to preventive diseases and illnesses before noth-

    ing has been appeared and person is healthy. The most important is to understand and

    know the risks of different illnesses and diseases. For example you should know how

    you can avoid different symptoms and health problems by eating and exercising right

    for example.

    Secondary prevention means the eliminating of the noticed or diagnosed health

    problems avoiding the worse health treats. For example the patient or customer can

    have very high blood pressure. He tries to decrease it by eating healthier and exercis-

    ing more and having less stress. These kinds of ways he can diminish the risk for

    blood pressure disease.

    Tertiary prevention is linked with the ill and sick patients whose have gotten ill al-

    ready. Their sufferings and diseases are going to ease or even better as well as possi-

    ble. In these cases extra symptoms and their getting worse are going to be prevented

    and the possibility of extra diseases are eliminated by caring the patient and monitor-

    ing the patients condition. Rehabilitation is too tertiary prevention.

    3 HEALTHINESS OF THE ELDERLY PEOPLE IN FINLAND

    3.1 Social health inequalities between different socioeconomic groups among the

    elderly people

    The health of the retired population is challenged by two things; ageing as a normal

    process and different diseases that require medication, health care and additional at-

    tention. Retirement in Finland is possible between ages 63 and 68, variation may de-

    pend on line of work, personal health or personal preference. Part-time retirement is

    also an option if the set conditions are met. (Aejmelaeus, Kan, Katajisto & Pohjola

    2007). WHO estimates that Finnish males born in 2007 will be healthy and able to

    function until the age of 69 and women until the age of 74. The average life expec-tancy for Finnish males born in 2010 is 76.7 years and for females 83.2 years. In

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    2010 about 17.5 per cent of the Finnish population was aged 65 or over, the figure is

    estimated to rise to 23 per cent in 2020 and to 26 per cent in 2030.

    (www.terveyskirjasto.fi). The age group 65 and over comes close to 980 000 people

    in 2011. The dependency ratio in Finland is 51.6 per cent. The total fertility rate is

    1.7 children per woman, about the same number as in the other Nordic countries.

    (www.stat.fi).

    The next article is going to be described health inequalities between different socio-

    economic groups. The healthiness has gotten better very much during the latest 25

    years but the health gap has increased clearly at the same time. According to statis-

    tics the lower socioeconomic groups suffer many times often from different long-

    term diseases compared with the higher socioeconomic groups. This kind of devel-

    opment can be observed too when clarifying the retired peoples dietary behaviors:

    smoking and binge drinking are more common among those with lower income. In

    fact the higher socioeconomic classes follow over ten times more dietary recommen-

    dations compared with the lower social groups.

    There are huge socioeconomic differences in the use of health services that dont ful-

    ly correspond to the estimated need for care. It seems to be so that people suffering

    from the lack of money dont go to municipal health centerif needed. Elderly people

    with higher income use more occupational services and private practice services and

    their need to get medical help especially in more serious illnesses seems to be lesser

    than those with lower income. The quality of the health care has varied meaningfully

    between different socioeconomic groups. For example medical operations especially

    surgery operations have been done much more for the elderly patients with higher

    income in the private health care system.

    Reducing health inequalities will not be easy because of the lack of time and re-

    sources. The most difficult question is: How to get all socioeconomic groups are in-

    terested in changing their bad health behaviors? Many projects and programs have

    been developed and the aims are going to be fulfilled some year but it will require

    time. (Palosuo, Koskinen & Lahelma 2007, 7)

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    3.2 The most common diseases among the elderly people in Finland

    Various indicators show that the health of the Finnish population has improved

    among the elderly people but socioeconomic health inequalities have generally re-

    mained or even widened. It appears increasingly difficult to reach the Health 2015

    Public Health Programmed goals for reducing differences in mortality by a fifth by

    2015. Long-term illnesses are about 50 per cent more common among the lowest ed-

    ucational and other socioeconomic groups than in the highest groups. These differ-

    ences have increased among those aged 65 or over. (Palosuo, Koskinen & Lahelma

    2007, 7)

    Older people between ages 75 and 85 require up to three times as much medical at-

    tention and help than people in the younger age groups. There is an increase in inju-

    ries caused by falling down or tripping, circulatory disorders become more common

    and many people suffer from osteoarthritis. Muscles and bones weaken due to lack of

    exercise and poor intake of food and drink. Infectious diseases are caught easily and

    recovery slows down. Relationships literally die or diminish and people rely more

    and more on hired help to assist with everyday functions. Prevention and effect...