Start 2021 Focusing on You, including Your Career

Well, I am not afraid to say that I am grateful that 2020 is in the rearview! I have not quite come to terms with all of the events of 2020, but I do believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The thing that I am going to share with you is that I turned on that light. I do not have time to seek out opportunities, rather, I must make them! It's my personality....I do know that. I am impatient. So, rather than wait around for an opportunity, I usually create things to do and be a part of. This year will be no different. 

 

What I meant by I turned the light on is that I have the need to keep busy right now. I am sad over the loss of my father-in-law to Covid on December 9. It is so raw. He was a wonderful man, father, husband, and most importantly, Papa. Sometimes, we need to turn a light on in the darkness, rather than become a part of it. I am focusing on the beauty of his woodworking, enjoying the little things (as we usually do not as it is so...

Continue Reading...

Self-Care at Your Fingertips

Often times when we talk to people about self-care, they are quick to say that they don't have time or they aren't sure what to do. We've also heard that's it's too costly, thinking that self-care means paying for an expensive massage, manicure or pedicure...now, don't get me wrong, those are nice self-care tools, however, self-care doesn't have to cost any money, can be done in less than 5 minutes, and it's all in your mind!

Here's how...

Instructions: Choose a quiet place, if able. Lay down or sit in a chair with both feet flat on the ground. Place your hands to your side. Either have someone read the script below and close your eyes, or keep your eyes open, read to yourself, and imagine in your mind.

"I'd like you to take 3 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. You are breathing from your diaphragm, not your chest.

Imagine that you are on a beach. You are sitting on your towel and you scoot yourself to the edge of the towel. You take off your shoes or...

Continue Reading...

Why Do We Always Find a Way to Ignore What We Need?

Why do we always find a way to ignore what we need? We usually fall dead last when it comes to our mental wellbeing. As I contemplate the present, which is the strangest of times, I realize that we do not have the ability to continue on like this unless we want to pay for it with our health. Yes, that is what I said. There is a direct correlation between our mental and physical health. 

I am sure you are familiar with people associating a heart attack or stroke with stress. Well, we are finding out that many other diseases can be started and exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Caring for your mental health can physically make you healthier. So, how do you fit this into an already overloaded schedule?  Simple, you control your day. 
 
You may not think so, but you are the keeper of your actions. We tend to blame other things for ruining our days, or filling them. The hard truth is, we do have control of it. Now, taking control, that can be a challenge. You may...
Continue Reading...

The Power of Coping Skills and Non-pharmacological Techniques

The obvious about using coping tools and non-pharmacological techniques for mood issues or behavioral concerns is that the person receiving these are not faced with experiencing many side effects with the potential to cause more problems when taking medications instead. For example, if I'm anxious and I take an anti-anxiety medication, sure I might feel less anxious, however, I may also become unproductive that day, sleep more than usual, and then feel irritable and even more anxious as it wears off. Reason being, I haven't actually dealt with what caused my anxiety in the first place! Now, in the event the person is taking medications, even reaching for coping tools or the caregiver using non-pharmacological approaches will reduce the amount of or chances for side effects if PRN, or as needed, medication was being used on top of their routine medication regimen.

However, there are two other bonuses to regularly using coping tools and non-pharmacological techniques:

1. It...

Continue Reading...

A Dementia Case Study in Treating Clean: My Name is Betty

"Betty was having a particularly tough afternoon. As the hours wore on, she started to become agitated with the people around her. She was wandering with an angry look, cursing, unwilling to listen, and trying to push people away if they became physically close. Betty repeated to herself, 'I want to go home; I want to go home.'

I stepped in to help calm Betty and prevent any further escalation. Approaching Betty gently, I presented myself in a calm manner with a smile on my face. I spoke to Betty in a calm, monotone voice. I played soothing sounds, used a lavender essential oil blend aromatically, and gave her a light touch so she knew that she was safe. Betty calmed down within minutes and even wanted to spend more time together."

Betty lived in a memory care facility. Appealing to Betty’s senses helped to deescalate the moment (visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile stimulation) and made her feel calm, while it made me feel confident and competent for helping her....

Continue Reading...

Everyone Wins when Healing Clean

Using non-pharmacological techniques, whether in dementia care, mental health treatment, or practicing self-care, is a step to thinking, feeling, treating, and eventually healing clean. When we heal clean, everyone wins on both sides of those non-pharmacological techniques. How does that happen?

When using non-pharmacological techniques, we have control of what we are doing, when we do it, and how we do it. The 'what' is important to know that the things we are using are healthy for us or with whom we are treating; that we aren't filling our bodies, minds, and brains with toxins, minute killers, carcinogens, or contamination or that we won't have to deal with all these negative side effects. Actually, often times when we use non-pharmacological techniques, there are side benefits to the 'what' we are using. For example, maybe filling out crossword puzzles is stimulating and invigorating, leaving you feeling productive and ready to start the day. But a side benefit is that it is also...

Continue Reading...

Clean Dementia Care

In the effort to think, feel, treat, and heal clean, how does this apply to dementia care. It's pretty typical that as part of the disease process, those with dementia will display a number of behavioral symptoms as a way to communicate. These behavioral symptoms mean something. The individual may be hungry, thirsty, tired, in pain, or needs to use the bathroom. Or the individual might be anxious, sad, angry, scared, or bored. However, sometimes these behavioral symptoms put the individual and their care partners at risk for injury. It's important as care providers that we help to anticipate what the individuals in our care need so they don't have to act out to show us they need something. However, when the individual with dementia does act out we need to recognize what's happening and intervene.

Unfortunately, often times an as needed psychotropic medication is used immediately at hopes to stop the behavior. Essentially it slows down the individual and sometimes even makes them...

Continue Reading...

Take Control

It's been our mission since day one to put non-pharmacological tools (or formerly known as coping skills) in the hands of healthcare providers, caregivers, and those with dementia and mental health concerns to help them manage the symptoms of these diseases. Often times you hear, "I just don't have time for that." Others say, "It's easier to just call the doctor." Not having time or only calling a doctor to secure your fate doesn't really seems to help the situation. Think about this...

Not having time means the next easier step may be to pop a pill. Did you know it takes about 30 minutes for that pill to start working? What are you doing during those 30 minutes? Couldn't you be using a non-pharmacological intervention or tool? It takes seconds to minutes for these kinds of tools to work. So if it works, then taking that pill was an unhealthy waste of time on your body or your resident's/patient's body. Why, because all medications have negative side effects. Now, we aren't to say...

Continue Reading...

Clean Faster

What if we told you that you can treat clean faster? This means that non-pharmacological tools can work faster than most as needed, oral medications used to treat anxiety, excessive agitation, and more. 

In long-term care, and most other treating entities, CMS requires that healthcare providers attempt to use non-pharmacological interventions first before giving medications to treat symptoms of dementia and mental health concerns - anxiety, depression, agitation, wandering, repetitive behaviors, hoarding, aggression, and so on. Treating clean in this fashion is a Win, Win! Your organization is in compliance, it helps your 5-star rating and increases your reimbursement, while the resident or patient is not dealing with the negative side effects of these medications, like falls, confusion, irritability, and upset stomach. 

The other advantage is that you can treat clean faster. Did you know that it can take minimally 30 minutes for as needed medications to start working, and...

Continue Reading...

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,...

Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

NeuroEssence Emails

You are one step closer to receiving the latest updates on research, resources, and education on alternative and complimentary therapies for the vintage population.