Successful Aging In the Division of General Medical Disciplines

Culturally Appropriate Geriatric Care:
Fund of Knowledge

Traditional Health Beliefs

"Elderly immigrants who are often bound to traditions may believe that disease can be a direct punishment of God for sins committed."

Islam does not believe in mind-body dualism. Maintaining spiritual peace is thought to be an essential part of health. Elderly immigrants who are often bound to traditions may believe that disease can be a direct punishment from God for sins committed.

Following religious teachings and not doing evil, therefore, is viewed as an integral part staying healthy. Elders, especially women, may try traditional folk medicine initially when illness strikes and seek allopathic medical help only when the suffering due to the disease becomes intolerable.

Imbalances

Physical and mental illness may be attributed to an imbalance between person and environment. Influences include emotional, spiritual and social state, as well as physical factors like hormonal imbalance.

Cold and Hot Diseases

Humoral changes expressed as too much heat or cold are also important:

[icon]snowflake COLD DISEASES: menstrual cramps, pneumonia, and rhinitis. Cold diseases are treated with hot medications or food such as meat, tea and sugar.

[icon] flame HOT DISEASES: hypertension, pregnancy, skin rashes, tooth aches and acne. Hot diseases are treated with cold medications and food like fresh fruits, rose petals and other herbs.

[icon] flame [icon]snowflake HOT AND COLD: Stroke or transient ischemic attacks are believed due to alternate hot and cold exposure.

Proper treatment of diseases based on heat and cold is believed to bring balance to life.

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