Medical Model Of Disability Health And Social Care Essay

A disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. – World Health Organization

Disability is the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by contemporary organization which takes no or little account of people who have physical impairments and thus excludes them from the mainstream of social activities.

- Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation

Disability summarizes a great number of different functional limitations due to physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, medical conditions or mental illness. Such impairments, conditions or illnesses may be permanent or transitory in nature. – United Nations Standard Rules on the equalization of Opportunities for Persons with disabilities

Similarities and Differences

Disability as defined above, it stated that it is a n impairment of the body, not just only physically but it views as a whole of the body which affects their normal day-to-day activities that make them exclude or withdrawn to the society. According to the three sources, they define the Disability as a restriction, limitation or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. The differences is that; according to the Union of the Physical impaired against segregation they added that a person who are disabled may affect their social well being that result to isolation of themselves. Thus in United Nations Standard Rules disability is a disease that is either a temporary or permanent that cannot treat.

Definition of Aging

Aging is a complex process composed of several features: 1) an exponential increase in mortality with age; 2) physiological changes that typically lead to a functional decline with age; 3) increased susceptibility to certain diseases with age, it is also an intrinsic age-related process of loss of viability and increase in vulnerability. – Senescene

aging as an age-dependent or age-progressive decline in intrinsic physiological function, leading to an increase in age-specific mortality rate and a decrease in age-specific reproductive rate - National Center for Biotechnology Information

Aging, the process of growing old, is defined as the gradual biological impairment of normal function, probably as a result of changes made to cells and structural components (such as bone and muscle). Changes would consequently have a direct impact on the functional ability of organs, biological systems and ultimately the organism as a whole. – Aging Research

Similarities and Differences

Aging as defined above it is a process of growing old or maturity. The three definitions stated that it is a progressive deterioration of physiological function that leads to death. In first and second definition, it elaborated several features for older person. There a lot of changes that you can see to an aging person as he become older and older. Firstly, physical changes (wrinkles to the whole body, elasticity of skin). Secondly, immunity may decrease which result to susceptibility of different kinds of diseases. In the last definition of aging, it explains that it is a biological impairment of normal functions due to changes made to cells such as the neurons that may result to a person become forgetful or memory loss and structural components such as the bone and muscle that result to a person to become weak and immobile as these structural component deteriorate.

Theory of Disability

Medical Model of Disability

The medical model of disability is one that is primarily concerned with the justification of disability. It sees disability purely as a problem of the individual, without any discrimination between the impairment faced and the disability itself. "Any economic or social deprivation encountered by disabled people was located within the individual and their impairment." (Swain et al., 2003)

The medical model of disability is a sociopolitical model by which illness or disability, being the result of a physical condition, and which is intrinsic to the individual (it is part of that individual’s own body), may reduce the individual's quality of life, and causes clear disadvantages to the individual.

The medical model tends to believe that curing or at least managing illness or disability mostly or completely revolves around identifying the illness or disability from an in-depth clinical perspective (in the sense of the scientific understanding undertaken by trainedhealthcare providers), understanding it, and learning to control and/or alter its course. By extension, the medical model also believes that a "compassionate" or just society invests resources in health care and related services in an attempt to cure disabilities medically, to expand functionality and/or improve functioning, and to allow disabled persons a more "normal" life. The medical profession's responsibility and potential in this area is seen as central.


Age – as the person get older they seems to seek medical attention as their immunity system declined. Older persons encounter a lot of diseases and they are prone to some chronic diseases likely to develop degenerative diseases. As the person become older they mostly develop disability that may result from isolation or withdrawn themselves to others. As they feel that they get the severe disability and feel shame for themselves.

Gender – in terms of gender, men are more likely to be prone to disability or impairments. As the men are hard works and mostly work on the hazard areas that are high risk for injury. Unlike for the women, they tend to stay at home and do some home based activities. In the other hand, women with disabilities has a higher mortality rate because of the lack of adequate care to disabled women, while on the men they get the most care as they are likely to be supported into more public and outward looking opportunities.

Class – socio economic status could have greatly affected to disability status of the person. Individuals who are more limited of incomes, resources and education could not afford medical treatment, seek professional help and could not undergo rehabilitation and management.

Races – according to the study, blacks people with disability that may tend to have poor health and may not be able to get a job as well as not able to have a good education and that they belong in a minority group or status in the society.

Theory of Aging

Biological Theory (Wear and Tear Theory)

The wear and tear theory of aging believes that the effects of aging are caused by damage done to cells and body systems over time. Wear out is due to use, once they wear out they can no longer function correctly While the theory makes some sense if you think of the body as a machine, it doesn't really work when you realize the capacity of the body to repair damage. Of course, not all damage can be repaired fully, and mistakes in repairs may accumulate over time. A more likely explanation is that the decrease of functioning that is seen as "tear" in the "wear and tear" theory is really the result, not the cause, of aging.

A relatively cause of this damage is due to exposure to radiation, toxins and ultraviolet light that can damage our genes. Our body’s own functioning can also cause damage, as the body metabolizes oxygen, free radicals are produced that can cause damage to cells and tissues.


Age – as the person increases their age and become older, their body also starting to declined. Older persons that are more exposed to the hazards that may affect their health such as burnout at worked, depression and stress are more prone to such diseases or severe diseases as their immunity deteriorate. With the passage of time, changes occur in the cells that impair their effectiveness. Thus aging is due to progressive damage. One of the Contributing factors that cause cell damage is due to internal and external environment.

Class – socio economic status tends to have poorer health, earlier onset of disease or more prone to develop wear and tear theory as they could not afford to buy healthy foods compared with their wealthier counterparts and people in a lower classs work hard and focused on responsibilities they are more into hard labor so they are prone to develop wear and tear theory

Class -