Alternative Therapies or Supplements for Older Adults

Alternative therapies for the older adult Health as defined by the American nursing association The American national priorities, as described by the institute of medicine, involve promoting best practices, disease prevention, treatment, and intervention practices for the leading causes of mortality, ensuring patient and family-centered care, delivering safer care, facilitating communication and care coordination, and making quality care affordable to all. Berman, A., Snyder, S., and Frandsen, G. (2016).

To this end, there is a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, and an emphasis on public health care service at which disease prevention and promotive health care take the leading agenda. Old adults are among the highly vulnerable age groups to acquire various forms of health problems due to inevitable physiological functions, chronic illnesses, multiple medications, environmental, cultural, and behavioral living conditions. (Berman, A., Snyder, S., and Frandsen, G. (2016)).


Culturally acceptable health care


The health system needs to provide culturally acceptable health care that integrates diversified health promotion and disease prevention activities. The use of alternative therapy is one part of old adults’ health care and contributes to senior adults lead a relatively healthy life.

According to Ebersole & Hess’s Toward Healthy Aging book, the wellness-based model encompasses the idea that health is composed of multiple dimensions. Wellness is further expressed in functional, environmental, intellectual, psychological, spiritual, social, and biological dimensions of the human experience within the context of culture. This may also be influenced by factors including normal aging, income, education, sexual orientation and identity, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, residence, life opportunities, and access to health care. (Touhy, T. A., & Jett, K. (2020).)


Therapy for Adults


Diverse dietary supplements are an alternative therapy for old adults. Some of these include Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana); reliefs constipation, Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla); used as a mild sedative in the relief of insomnia and digestion. Echinacea (Echinacea Angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea); Stimulates the immune system so used to reduce the symptoms of colds and flu.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a prophylaxis and treatment of migraine headaches. St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) for depression and Ginkgo biloba used for memory loss. (Karyn, M., Mary, C. (2020).   Following a review from the FA Davis advantage mental health and care of old adult books, Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is applicable to treat senility, short-term memory loss, and peripheral insufficiency.

It also discusses as it affects dilating the blood vessels. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is a standardized concentrated leaf extract from the oldest living tree species (Sierpina. (2003). It is in both capsule, tablet, and extract forms. The flavonoids, glycosides, and terpenoids, such as gingkolide B and bilobalide, are the primary active ingredients (Jiang ( 2011). It often sells as EGb 761, a standard extract containing 22% to 27% flavone glycosides and 5% to 7% terpenoids.

The recommended safe dosage of ginkgo is 120–240 mg/day. Ginkgo sated a safe herbal treatment but can produce side effects such as headache, GI problems, and dizziness. Ginkgo is contraindicated when there is bleeding disorder and increases bleeding and anticoagulant effects when used along with aspirin or anticoagulants. (Karyn, M., Mary, C. (2020). Therefore, as a nurse, we should also educate the old adult patents about the indication,  dosage, contraindication, and possible side effects when ginkgo Biloba was an alternative therapy.


Requirements for the Discussion Post:


The topic of our forum will focus on alternative/complementary therapies.  This will include supplements, herbal medicines, and other alternative therapies for the older adult client.   You can also select an herb that is not in your textbook, such as one of the herbs tested in the ATI pharmacology book.  Please ensure your discussion forum applies to the older adult.


Answer the following questions


1. Discuss the herb contents and how it is a supplement. What disorders does the herb treat?

2. Discuss the benefits and risks as well as side effects of the herb or supplement.

3. Additionally, discuss the use of the herb by the older adult population.

4. Lastly, discuss some of the contraindications or nursing considerations when educating clients on the use of herbs with coexisting medications.

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