Treat Clean

We've talked about thinking and feeling clean, i.e., swapping out toxic, quick fixes for long-term, effective, clean strategies for managing cognitive, mental, and emotional health. These are individual choices, however, what about if you are a professional treating patients or residents. What are their choices? Often in medical settings, it's quick to prescribe or give a pill to fix these very concerns. Like, a dementia patient starts to yell out, is repetitively talking, and wandering around, often they are given a PRN medication to calm them down. Why? What else could have been done? It's our due diligence to inform the patient, resident or their family on alternatives to medication - non-pharmacological interventions. What are those alternatives?

Great alternatives for mental and emotional health are essential oil use, like lavender for relaxation or agitation, peppermint to focus and socialize, or lemon or wild orange to boost mood. Other alternatives might be journaling, exercise, meditation, deep breathing techniques, and so on. Completing crossword puzzles, word searches and Sodukos are wonderful for your cognitive health, when done 3x's/week for 30 minutes at a time. For that individual with dementia described earlier, try using lavender essential oil use, doll or pet therapy, or engaging them in something they enjoy doing to reduce those symptoms. And there are so many more techniques! Assessing what has worked for them in the past is helpful, and then introducing new techniques to try would be the next step.

Building a toolbox of alternative approaches to medication are important so the professional can have an arsenal of non-pharmacological interventions for whatever may come up. Offering and using these alternatives can build a comprehensive treatment plan. Keep in mind - what works for one person, may not work for another.

Being proactive and scheduling these interventions can help prevent concerns, or when these concerns arise, then using the intervention(s) to decrease them can help too.

When you are sitting down next time with your patient or resident - treat clean.


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