Complementary and alternative health care covers a broad range of therapies and healing practices. Acupuncture, chiropractic and naturopathy are some of the most familiar forms.

Good evidence indicates that some non-pharmacological therapies (such as music therapy, aromatherapy, pet therapy, and massage) may be beneficial to people with Alzheimer’s disease. However, lack of research prevents us from determining the effectiveness of many alternative treatments. The Alzheimer Society is funding projects in these areas in order to identify beneficial therapies for people with the disease.

When considering the use of natural health products, think about the following to minimize your risk:

  • Don’t assume “natural” means “safe.”
  • Be wary of unsubstantiated health-related claims.
  • Herbal remedies can change the way prescription drugs work. Be aware of interactions with other drugs and tell your doctor and pharmacist about any herbal remedies you may be taking.

Consult Your Health-care Professional

careWhen considering any treatment, it is important to consult with your doctor or qualified health-care professional. When considering using any product, including a natural health product, consider and discuss these questions with your health-care professional.

  • What are the potential benefits or results of taking this product?
  • Is this the best product or approach to achieve those results or are there better alternatives?
  • What is the evidence that supports the safety and effectiveness of this product?
  • What are the risks associated with taking this product?

Ongoing communication with your health-care professional is important to ensure that the best treatment options are being considered, to discuss side-effects and other issues, and to ensure that the treatment is effective and appropriate for you or the person you are caring for.