Health is more than simply the absence of illness. It includes your physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Some definitions even include the concepts of financial and vocational health. Because the concept of health is visualized so narrowly in illness-oriented models, the term “wellness” or “well-being” is often used to capture this broader perspective. Dr. Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University describes wellness as a state of positive health exemplified by a good quality of life and a sense of well-being. Wellness is also described as an active process of learning to make healthy choices that lead toward a longer and more successful existence.
The multi-dimensional concept of health is found in other cultures aswell. For example, the medicine wheel is used by First Nations peoples of the Canadian plains to symbolize four components of health: physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual.
Caregivers and their loved ones with a chronic disability both need to look at their health in this broad sense. By considering the multi-dimensional areas of their health, they have more avenues to follow to make the most of the health they have.