Health literacy is an individual’s ability to obtain, read, understand and use information about their health. It’s considered to be a great predictor of positive health outcomes, and studies have shown that low health literacy skills bring considerable risks to one’s health and well-being.
Health literacy is much more than the ability to read and write or the level of education attained. General education alone does not mean one has high health literacy. Anyone diagnosed with a serious illness can be scared or confused, especially without an adequate understanding of the condition or treatment options.
“Even someone who has a fair degree of education may lack knowledge of where to find trustworthy and valid health information from experts, and broad-based web searches can be quite unsafe and unreliable,” says Elke Ruthig, Project Manager, Patient, Family and Consumer Education at Baycrest, a world-leading Canadian eldercare center. “As well, anyone can struggle to understand complicated health information under stressful circumstances.”
Without adequate health literacy, a person may feel worried and dependent upon those around them knowing and providing what they need for their best health. In order for individuals to take control of their health, they must understand how to access the services they need to maintain good health.
How Health Literacy Helps You
Individuals with health literacy are able to articulate their concerns to a healthcare provider, understand the information they are provided, and follow instructions for treatment and taking prescribed medication.
Conversely, individuals with low health literacy may misinterpret label warnings on medication, misunderstand how to take it and be unaware of the potential side effects. And because they generally lack engagement with healthcare providers, they may be afraid to ask questions and issues can be left undetected.
Low health literacy is more prevalent among older adults. Unfortunately, 60 per cent of Canadians and up to 88 per cent of seniors have low health literacy.
Promoting health literacy among all patients, and especially among older adults, is critical to improve involvement in their care,” says Dr. David K. Conn, Vice-President of Education and Director of the Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging at Baycrest. “This will encourage better understanding of their health condition, confidence in handling their care needs and better overall self-management of their conditions.”
As health literacy improves, older adults are more confident, are able to understand and act upon their medical regimens, and know where and how to access healthcare services. They are informed, less worried and in a better position to age in place and live their life to the fullest.
How to Enhance Your Health Literacy
Unlike other social determinants of health, such as poverty and employment, health literacy can be addressed more directly through efforts to improve communication and by providing greater access to trusted sources of information specific to individuals’ needs.
To help pave the way to better health and well-being and make trusted healthcare information available to older adults in Canada and around the world, Baycrest has created online resources targeted to the health information needs of older adults.
Baycrest’s new Health Information Portal, available at www.baycrest.org/Baycrest/Health-Information, is a centralized, online hub for reliable geriatric health information. The portal provides easy access and excellent navigation to resources, tools and links from Baycrest experts and vetted external resources of value currently on the Baycrest website.
“This portal is an extremely important resource for older adults right now,” says Dr. Faith Boutcher, Director of Academic and Interprofessional Education at Baycrest. “Access to reliable health information onlineis especially important during these challenging times when in-person access is limited.”
To boost your health with handy tips for life at 50+, The Aspen Tree at The Forestias has gathered information at https://mqdc.com/aspentree/society/health from Baycrest, the world-leading Canadian research and eldercare center.
Get info from The Aspen Tree at The Forestias to enhance your health at 50+ and look after your well-being in every aspect.
The Health Portal also provides easy access to Baycrest’s list of Dementia Resources from Around the World, which is curated information about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that has been vetted against standards for web accessibility for seniors, font size, language, etc. This resource helps to lessen the complexity, confusion, worry and challenge of locating reliable information about dementia and memory loss.
By supporting health literacy and providing access
THREE COMPONENTS OF HEALTH LITERACY
- Functional health literacy refers to the knowledge and other skills that enable one to obtain and act upon information to support optimal health, including approaches and services for management of health issues and disease.
- Interactive health literacy refers to one’s ability to synthesize, understand and appropriately apply information about one’s changing health needs.
- Critical health literacy refers to more advanced cognitive abilities and skills required to analyze information, make knowledgeable decisions and take control of one’s health.
Stay Well and Worry-Free at 50+ in The Aspen Tree at The Forestias Operated by Baycrest
Living life to the full at 50+ isn’t just about how much you know about physical and mental health. You also need to be in the right environment with experts on hand to boost your quality of life so you can live well and free from worries.
The Aspen Tree at The Forestias was developed with research leaders like Canada’s world-leading Baycrest to meet all your needs. Holistic Lifetime Care comes with complete facilities as well as Health & Wellness programs.
You can enjoy yoga, swimming, singing, playing music, meditation, outdoor fitness, hydrotherapy, and loads more to boost your physical, mental, and brain health.
The Aspen Tree at The Forestias also has a Health & Brain Center to look after your well-being and keep your mind sharp. A team of healthcare experts are on hand 24 hours a day for your peace of mind and holistic good health.
Find out more CLICK https://mqdc.com/aspentree
LINE OA : @TheAspenTree CLICK https://mqdc.link/3Emhkde