Alternative treatments

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I appreciate Karen Adam’s My Turn column “Acupuncture in place of painkillers,” and also want to advocate for alternative treatments for loved ones in care facilities upon the request of the legal guardian or person with durable power of attorney.

Currently, alternatives such as vitamins and supplements must be prescribed by an M.D. who generally has no idea of herbs and supplements (not to mention nutrition) as additional support for healing and so rightfully doesn’t feel qualified to prescribe them. And supplements are seen as medicine by care facilities, so they must be ordered by a physician for staff to give them. Of course, insurance doesn’t pay for herbs and supplements since they are not recognized to be of quantifiable value by the allopathic and pharmaceutical systems (who receive no monetary benefit from natural medicine and may lose money if less pharmaceuticals and less doctor visits are needed).

As a person involved in the out-of-town care of an Alzheimer’s patient who can no longer make these choices for herself, and as a person who wants the choice to continue holistic supplements should I be in a care facility some day, it is indeed time for us to insist on broader care and demand change so we can have alternatives in our own healthcare when needed.

Jennifer Paris