Kimmer Collison-Ris, MSN, FNP-BC, WOCN, MS CAM - Elder Care
Spectrum Care - Kimmer Collison-Ris, MSN, FNP-BC, WOCN, MS CAM
Natural Tips for reducing Anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by decreases in magnesium in the diet as well as low water consumption. The body relies on these things to keep its daily chemical activities running smoothly. As we age, the body absorbs less nutrients leading to changes in energy, changes in mood, and increases in muscle cramping and fatigue. Here are some things that are helpful in alleviating anxious moods.

-Place 1 drop of Lavender essential oil in 1-2T of olive oil, apply under nose, behind ears
-Consider taking Magnesium 250 mg twice daily
-try soft melodic music
-decrease stress & noise by turning off the t.v. or news
-encourage painting, reading, puzzles or hobbies
-encourage small frequent nutritious meals
-offer water w/lemon or limes throughout the day to help stay hydrated, often dehydration leads to medication interactions & anxiety

Constipation Management

Constipation often occurs in the elderly because their activity is decreased and they tend to drink less fluids and secrete lower amounts of digestive enzymes.

Here are some tips:
-Offer water flavored w/lemons or lime throughout the day

-Offer 1/4 of a sliced pear or apple daily adds natural fiber and increases bowel motility.

-Consider taking  2 tsps of Olive oil daily to soften stools (may place in food or in smoothie)

-Take 8 oz glass of grape juice daily and encourage eating ½ cup of grapes daily several times per week

-Drinking an 8 oz of fruit smoothie daily (consisting of water and frozen fruit) increases bowel function by adding water and natural fibers

-Try giving Senna tea twice daily to improve bowel regularity instead of taking senna capsules (which require large amounts of water)

-Consider giving  1 T of fruit paste daily which is a tasty treat that can be spread on toast or crackers

-Combining warmed mineral oil with 1 drop of added  peppermint essential oil then massaging into the abdomen to relax bowel is known to help relieve Constipation.
Forgetfulness, Dementia & Behavior

There are many reasons that the elderly become demented or forgetful. Often times forgetfulness can be triggered by decreased fluid and nutrition, medications, poorly managed pain, changes in routine or environment, or an illness.  Persons who experience dementia may have behavioral outbursts becoming angry, negative, anxious, and sometimes attacking their caregivers or family. This can be frightening and frustrating.

Here are some things that can help you and the person with poor memory:
-Be sure to give medications as ordered by their primary care provider (PCP) and monitor their effectiveness, report to the PCP if they experience any increases in behavioral disturbances.
-Consider using essential oils/herbs to create calm by either placing a lavender sachet under their pillowcase to promote sleep or using an essential oil diffuser in the room
-Consider adding Vitamin D 1000 mg 1-2 times daily to help lift their mood
-Consider adding Vitamin B12/B complex drops 1 mg twice daily to help with digestion, mood, and memory
-Be sure they are getting 1200 mg of essential fatty acids daily to help brain function.
-Talk to a Natural medicine provider about exploring the use of herbs like Gingko Biloba, Valerian, and Evening Primrose oil.
-Be sure that they are getting restful uninterrupted sleep.
-Be sure their pain is being properly managed and their medications aren't causing irritability or fatigue.
-Engage in Reminiscing
-Provide calm environment free from noise (constant T.V. or radio)
-Consider playing soft music “of their time”
-Involve them in daily activities and encourage them to help out with projects, chores, or cooking with you.
-Lastly, don't argue when an outburst occurs but redirect and distract them with other activities or topics of conversation.

Arthritis Pain Management

Arthritis can be aggravated by a diet high in processed foods, sugars, dehydration, and low in essential fatty acids. A lack of exercise decreases joint and muscle health and leads to stiffness, pain, and poor circulation. Increasing the immune system and activity as well as water consumption can help decrease overtime cranky joints.

Some of these medication combinations can be very effective:

-Taking 500-1000 mg Tylenol + 1-2 Valerian capsules every 4-6 hours
-or taking 500mg Tylenol, 220 mg Naproxen sodium, & 1-2 Valerian capsules every 12 hours for pain
-or taking  500mg Tylenol &  220mg Naproxen Sodium every 12h as needed for pain

Adding Valerian Root capsule twice daily to a Tylenol/Aleve or Tylenol regimen can be helpful in decreasing painful nerve signals. It can also cause less side effects than taking a narcotic pill.

Other helpful tips include placing Arnica gel topically over sore/inflamed joints every 4 hours or  rubbing Capcaicin ointment on sore swollen joints

Following an Anti-inflammatory Diet(see Nutritional medicine page) or obtain a Google image search on Anti-inflammatory diet for list of foods that help reduce pain and inflammation.

Keeping joints warm and out of drafts or placing warm packs that cool down on sore joints is also very helpful.

Disclaimer: Always seek the advise of your primary care provider before implementing any of these recommended pain regimens to be sure these medications don't interfere with your current medication plan.