This essay aims to explore how biological, psychological and social aspects can have bidirectional and exacerbating influences on the health of an individual or groups. Applying the bio psychosocial model (Engel 1977; Kety 1974) to observations made in an older adult ward whilst in placement practice, discussion will explore how the vicious cycle of factors specific to older age affect the bio psychosocial health aspects of older adults. Older adults are identified as those aged 65 and over, Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2013; Wadrop 2009).
The biopsychosocial model (Engel 1977) is an approach of treating biological, psychological and social sets of related events collectively or holistically (Strandberg et al 2007) as systems manifesting functions and properties on the specific level of or the whole health aspects of an individual or groups. On that basis, the ways observed and established factors specific to older age mutually influenced one another physiologically, psychologically and socially not simply as independent properties of mind, body or social environment (Frankel and Quill 2005) of the patient group are examined.
The group constituted both male and female older adults aged 65 (ONS 2013; Wadrop 2009) who were receiving treatment for various ailments in the Older Adults Ward. Older adults’ population is said to be increasing because of declines in fertility and mortality rates (UK House Of Lords, 2013; UN 2009) which represents some of the biological and social aspect of older adulthood. Whilst this group was mainly identified as having medical problems it was also noted that dementia was dominant amongst these older adults.
Dementia is a group of chronic pathologic conditions characterised by a progressive decline in cognitive abilities; because it tends to affect older adults, its initial onset can be difficult to distinguish from normal aging (Miller 2012). Its known causes and outcomes which range across biological, psychological and social spectrums include medical conditions, genetic vulnerability, depression, demographic factors, mild cognitive impairment, feelings of loneliness and social isolation (Holwerda, et al 2014). As well as being associated with above mentioned conditions same medical symptoms turned to be exacerbated in dementia suffers due to memory loss, agitation and aggression (Dettmore, et al 2009).However discussion on dementia is not within the scope of this essay.
Like the population of most other older adults elsewhere in the UK and the world which is living with one or more chronic long-term physical or biological and mental health conditions of varying extents (Binstock and George 2010; UK House Of Lords, 2013; United Nations 2009), the majority of those on the ward presented with related physical and mental health as well as social issues. Some had physiological conditions ranging from mild to severe arthritis, joint pains and pulmonary respiratory diseases, and others where recovering...