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Contemporary considerations relating to health promotion and older people

28 November 2019
11 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 21


Health promotion in later life can support healthy ageing and wellbeing. Nurses across the continuum of care have an important role in promoting positive health and wellbeing messages, but they must be cognisant of the need to engage in, modify and tailor health promotion for and with older adults. This article provides an overview of contemporary issues relevant to health promotion and older people, and the role and contribution of nurses.

Society is ageing (Nakasato and Carnes, 2006). By 2050, it is estimated that at least 1 in 5 people will be 60 years or older and that between 2000 and 2050 the number of those aged 60-plus will double (World Health Organization (WHO), 2015). Living longer is recognised as bringing great opportunity, but this is dependent on the maintenance of good health and wellbeing. However, older people can experience a health trajectory that is less than what could be possible (WHO, 2017a). Multi-morbidity, frailty and cognitive impairment, while not inevitable, are associated with ageing. These can affect the person in a number of ways, including reduction in quality of life and wellbeing, polypharmacy, reduction in social networks, increased service use, and higher mortality (Woods, 2014; Eckerblad et al, 2015; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2016).

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