Thursday, February 7, 2019


Nurses as Role Models in Disease Prevention

Authored by Dirk Nelson

The number of citizens in the United States over 65 years of age is anticipated to more than double during the next 25 years (at that time there will be approximately 75,000,000 Americans over the age of 65; this will represent over 20% of the population). This “graying of America” will elicit profound opportunities and challenges. Life expectancy in developed countries like the United States currently ranges from 76 to 80 years. With an aging population, there is a concomitant increase in chronic diseases, disabilities, injuries, health care costs and concerns for caregivers. Approximately 80 percent of all seniors have at least one chronic condition and 50 percent have at least two (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). However, life expectancy is not necessarily synonymous with living better. esults of literally thousands of studies indicate that simple lifestyle changes can maintain, slow down and may even reverse physical declines related to the aging process. While there are no guarantees, heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression may be managed and/or even prevented via one’s lifestyle. These phenomena (along with others) can create a great deal of angst for not only individuals, but their significant others as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that one’s health need not inevitably decline due to aging. The reality is that anyone can improve his/her wellbeing by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors. 

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