Health Literacy: Determinant Of Health

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“Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” (Healthy People, 2010) It includes knowing how to control with your own health and to benefit your own health through making informed health decisions, seeking appropriate treatments. Anyone can be health literate. Anyone at home, at school, work, or even the society as a whole. Health literacy can impact our health overall and all aspects of life. Even if you’re intelligent and educated people in the stress of medical situation when you’re ill, you can be health literate too. Health literacy is a determinant of health. If we do not address this issue and…show more content…
As they are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, have diets high in salt, cholesterol, and fat, take medications incorrectly, have poor health and suffer from many illness. Also, they are less likely to exercise, have good control of their medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and unlikely to know early symptoms of stroke or heart attack. People with high health literacy, they have a greater understanding of when to seek treatment and reduce the use of health services. They are more knowledgeable about the actions they make to manage their own health such as what medication to take. However, people with low health literacy will find the healthcare information and services difficult and unsure how to take care of their health. They may have problems keeping track of appointments or following to the treatments. Therefore, health literacy is important because it is an essential part of active involvement in health care. We need to be able to find, understand medical terms, evaluate, and use health information and services. Health literacy can also prevent many health problems and shapes our health…show more content…
Firstly, for elderly with low health literacy that are less likely to ask questions, seek clarification or more information if they do not understand. For example, an elderly who has heart disease and the doctor provides him with information and pamphlet about the disease. However, he has difficulty understanding the information that was provided to him and he felt confused about the treatment options and does not seek clarification from the doctor. One approach is to get the elderly to join peer-support groups so that they can hear information from health providers and health providers can take more time with them. Also, older persons can have discussion with their peers. They can write down or have somebody to write down questions they would like to ask when they go see the doctor. Bring translator or family along if the elderly can only speaks dialect. Thus, they will gain more knowledge and understanding about their health conditions and treatment when they listen to the doctor and also from the health
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