To me, aging is a natural biological process where your lifestyle, environment, and genetic endowment reflect on your level of wellbeing as an older adult. Successful aging can be defined as having a manageable level of health, possession of coping mechanisms, community involvement, positive relationships, and most importantly, maintaining a sense of independence and purpose (TroutmanJordan & Staples, 2014). While previous perceptions of health only included the physical body, health is now considered from a holistic point of view, encompassing the body, mind, and environment as opposed to only the absence of disease (Chen, Hung, Lin, Haung & Yang). I believe that while assessing one’s health, especially that of an older adult, the wellbeing of both the body and mind should be equally taken into consideration.
While this mindset takes on a holistic approach, I feel that it is possible to have an illness while still maintaining a degree of health. An example of this would be one who suffers from diabetes but lives an otherwise positive and productive lifestyle. My perception of health has been influenced by the examples my parents have set out for me. While my father put a lot of stress on the importance of the physical aspect of health, encouraging an active lifestyle and proper nutrition, my mother taught the importance of coping skills and positive environments. Both parents view themselves as relatively healthy and lead active lifestyles regardless of the genetically endowed illness such as heart disease with my father and depression with my mother.