How can I get my mom to try natural alternatives to her multiple medications?

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I recently bought some D-mannose, a natural supplement that has great reviews for helping to control urinary tract infections (uti's) -- for my mom. She tried it once and said it seemed to help. But her next uti, she went back to taking antibiotics, saying they always work. She doesn't like being "pushed" to do anything, so I didn't say anything about the negative effects of the antibiotics.

This has happened with other "organic" suggestions my sister and I have given her regarding her health. But our alternatives (probiotics, vitamin C, D, filtered water) get abandoned for multiple medications, many of which we feel have been given to treat the side effects of the other medications.

She's currently taking meds for blood pressure, uti's, acid reflux, shingles, atrial fib, and coumadin for blood thinning. She also has head tremors, neuropathy, and knee swelling which she doesn't take meds for. She's 83 and still gets around well; does her own cooking, cleaning, driving, and slot machine stuffing.

But she drinks too much coffee and eats too many sweets and rarely drinks water. And, as I mentioned, is stubborn about doing what she wants to do.

Has anyone else had any success in getting a stubborn mom to try, and continue to use, natural alternatives?

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I agree with the alternative approach, when possible, and that many medications aren't needed when natural foods, water and some supplements are taken. But finding a doctor to prescribe the needed medications (and many are), while also acknowledging the success of vitamins, minerals and things like cranberry juice isn't always easy. Tough stuff. Older folks often can't be convinced. Do your best and then I guess you have to let them live their lives. Probiotics come in pill form, and can help digestion, immunity and also problems people get after taking antibiotics, as they replace the healthy bacteria in the body. Sadly, you may not even get one of those capsules down your mom. Keep trying, but don't push too hard, or she'll dig in her heels farther.
Do you set her meds up for her? If you do, just add one in? My mother was a chronic UTI patient, and I tried anything to get them to stop as well. She had the slot machine stuffing fun as well, LOL. I tried as well as her physician to keep her off antibiotic’s as often as we could so she would not become immune to them incase she would get C-Diff after an infection. Her doctor would not put her on an antibiotic unless she had mental status change or a fever, we loaded her up with 2000 milligram of vitamin C a day, water and something else that was a very old medicine, but the combination worked to make her urine more acidic and it kept them from getting to a danger level. She had an infection specialist working on her for them. Hell, I had only specialist for her, since I am in the HC field, I knew who to locate, I was blessed in that way.
Just ask questions, can you have the doctor tell her to take the medicine, make her think that they are a prescription from her doctor?

OK, the blonde chick remembered !! It was 2000 mil of Vit C, Thiamine, an older medication and plenty of water, and that kept her UTI's from becoming chronic.
Thanks, Bridget. Unfortunately, the D-mannose is in powder form so I can't sneak it into her daily pill box. The rest of the bottles of supplements, which she took once or twice, are shoved to the back of cabinet behind her prescription meds, never to be taken again.

Also unfortunately, her small-town doc is one of those who just wants to prescribe a pill for everything and won't hear anything about alternatives. "And where did you get your medical degree?" he said to me when Mom told him I had suggested to her that she needed to drink a lot more water, which would help her uti problems. He said, no, that'll just make your knee swell up more (a completely wrong premise). He's a schmuck.

When I moved home with the idea of helping out my parents, I had visions of getting them on a healthy nutrition plan and improving all their problems. But at 88 and 83, they have no interest in changing their ways. So I fix what I eat and mom fixes their heavily salted and sugar-finished meals. And when something goes wrong, they go to the doctor and get another pill. Oh, well.
Cranberry juice is best for urinary trac infections. Also good are vitamin C, green tea and pomegranate juice. the problem is that Medicare doe not cover supplements or anything but dangerous drugs with horrific side effects! It's bad enough elderly/disabled won't be able to afford co pays/deductibles/transport costs let alone supplements and 'depends'!
I am a big fan of naturopathy which most docs role their eyes at. (Personally, I recently had a horrific reaction to Bactrim, an antibiotic....I'm still recovering.)
I have the same issues with my Mom. I get her on a good, healthy regimen then after a few weeks it just goes out the window. Before she moved here she had so many problems with constipation. I finally convinced her that adding ground flax seed to her food would "prevent" the problem. But she still thinks of it as a "medicine" and only uses it when she knows she is having problems.
They are from that generation that goes to doctors as if they were gurus. Unfortunately, most docs only know two avenues: pills and surgery.
I stock Mom's fridge with small bottles of cranberry juice (and other juices.) It is difficult to get her to drink more fluids. (btw, WHAT was your Mom's doc thinking by telling her that more fluid contributes to leg swelling??? the exact opposite is true.)
I also like probiotics...I prefer the ones that are refrigerated like Primadophilus or Metaflora.
I know what you are going through. I get so frustrated when my Mom whines about a condition, I help her find a solution, then she goes back to her old ways. I guess we could shrug our shoulders and say that it is "their choice." However, their bad habits become problems WE have to deal with. So I keep trying to keep her as healthy as possible. Now I just need to concentrate on my own health!!
good luck
Just to give a different perspective, I am a big fan of medications that have had to go through the rigorous testing demanded by regulations. Beter living through chemistry, I say. Seriously. I take pills and a shot for my diabetes. I don't like doing it, but I'd like it even less if I lived a couple generations ago when there were no such options. Hubby takes 20 different pills each day. And I say HooRay! His dementia has been stable in a mild stage for 7 years, after going through a hideous year of advanced symptoms while the pills were being worked out. I don't oppose natural substances, especdially things like whole grains and juices. But in my mind the concentrated "natural" remedies are just pills that haven't had to prove themselves through peer-reviewed testing. So if my health declines and my kids come in to try to substitute their ideas of remedies for what I believe in, I'd be not only stubborn but offended. I have a right to make my decisions, even if I am old. :) If I prefer to listen to my doctor (even knowing full well that doctors are not infallible) than to my well-intentioned child, that should be respected. As I say, just thought I'd present a different perspective on this subject. We all want what is best for our parents. We just don't always agree with each other, or with our parents, about what that is.

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