As a woman enters her geriatric years, many unique problems are also faced. Her post-menopausal period leaves a woman with increased risk of osteoporosis, and hormone-replacement therapy may need to be considered or dismissed depending upon the needs and wellness of the individual women. Additionally, increased risk for obesity begins nearly at the adolescent period, when women's hormone loads change and often activity of childhood decreases. The incidence of obesity and overweight among women perpetually increases with every year of life. ("Overweight, Obesity Threaten U.S.," 2002, p. 8)Obesity and overweight, as one of the most significant conditions associated with several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, increased risk of stroke and hypertension should be developed as a lifespan issue, as the needs of intervention and prevention change as women age and go through various stages of life.
While women have functional characteristics that require specialized health care, general health concerns are not unique to women. (Fleming, 2004) Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S., and it is partially preventable. (Pampel & Pauley, 2004, p. 8) Better eating habits and healthier lifestyles are concerns that should be shared by all Americans, and preventative medicine goes a long way in insuring health and longevity. (Fleming, 2004)Preventative medicine is most logically addressed through lifespan wellness plans and as was stated in Concept #1 a holistic approach to health and wellness. The increased number of women in the health care field has enhanced the understanding of how various changing roles in life, for women manifests in health, wellness and/or lack there of. Clinical approaches to women of varied life cycles, including but not limited to an expansion of the age at which many women now choose to be childbearing will likely strengthen the overall clinical approach to the wellness of women of various ages. (Heyman & Henriksen, 2001, p. 63)
Concept # 3
Women's health is a relatively old field of medicine that, in recent years, has taken on new dimensions. (Robison, 2002) it is important to recognize the diversity among women in their health care needs and access to adequate health resources. Recognition of diversity, in the broader culture, in the various roles of women and identity of women is an essential aspect of providing essential clinical care to women in a women's health setting.
A perspective of women's health that recognizes the multiple roles that women play and their corresponding health needs will be most successful in catering to all women in this society. Recognizing diversity of roles as well as life experience and culture, among women is a fundamental aspect of creating a health care system that emphasizes wellness rather than disease. Activism as an individual female health care provide is also essential to this development. Advocacy of individual and groups of women, on the issues of holistic care, lifespan wellness and diversity as a clinical health care provider is one of the first steps toward cultivating change in the system. This might mean developing access programs for a single at risk individual, or a group of them, a program a that is large or small but either way the development of achievable goals is essential to my role as a woman and a provider of clinical care for women.
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