Health education for elderly people in discourse and practice: physical activity as a synonym for health

Wânia Ribeiro Fernandes Vera Helena Ferraz de Siqueira About the authors

In this paper, we present a discussion on health education and health promotion among elderly people, based on empirical studies of qualitative nature is presented, with the aim of analyzing the ways in which discourse is produced within the political sphere and how these are subjectivated. We obtained the data through semistructured interviews with elderly people and with professionals who were directly involved in implementing public healthcare policies geared towards the elderly population. After briefly discussing the recommended guidelines for such policies, we present the results. These show that professionals regard physical activity as the principal strategy for promoting "healthy old age", and that elderly people's discourse reproduces these constructions to a large extent. Foucault's notion of biopower and some notions stemming from cultural studies helped us to understand how individuals are subjectivated in relation to what is advocated as a healthy way to live.

Discourse; Health education; Health promotion; Elderly people; Biopower

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