Aromatherapy won’t treat the root cause of Alzheimer’s, but it may relieve the symptoms. Through sensory stimulation, aromatherapy oils can reduce anxiety, soothe aggression, and boost mood. Ahead, learn more about using aromatherapy to treat some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy that uses fragrance to boost mental, emotional, and physical health. When used medicinally, aromatic essential oils have a myriad of benefits. They manage pain, promote restful sleep, reduce stress, and enhance digestion. To achieve the desired results, Alzheimer’s caregivers should select the appropriate oil and treatment method.
Methods of Application
There are many ways to reap the benefits of aromatherapy. To infuse your senior loved one’s living space with the aroma, heat the oil in an oil burner. If using a traditional oil burner seems like a safety risk, opt for a plug-in diffuser instead.
Direct application is advised for seniors who react positively to touch. With this method, the oil is applied to the skin of the hands, feet, or neck, and then you gently massage the area. Both the touch and the aroma can have calming effects. Before applying oil to the skin, make sure to check the instruction label. Some oils are too strong to be applied directly to the skin and need to be diluted with a carrier oil before application.
Essential oils can also be added to the bath. This method may be effective for seniors who tend to get anxious in the bathtub.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a North Broward senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
There are several essential oils that have anxiety-reducing effects for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Lemon oil is one of the most popular, as studies suggest it soothes people with insomnia and anxiety. Lavender is also known as a soothing oil, and it may calm seniors when they’re exhibiting signs of aggression. Lavender can be used to calm nerves, promote better sleep, and bring balance to the emotional state.
For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. North Broward, FL, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.
Some essential oils can give cognitive function a temporary boost. These oils, such as rosemary, can enhance the speed and accuracy of mental cognition. Peppermint is also recommended for cognitive wellbeing. The minty, refreshing scent of this oil sends the brain a wakeup call, thus boosting energy and awareness. Peppermint may also increase retention and reduce absent-mindedness.
Oils for Digestion and Appetite
Many seniors live with digestive issues. These challenges can be especially hard on seniors with Alzheimer’s, as they may not be able to communicate the reasons for their distress. Ginger oil is often recommended for digestion. Whether inhaled or applied to the skin, this oil may relieve constipation and regulate appetite. To stimulate the appetite, grapefruit oil is also effective. Spraying grapefruit oil on your loved one’s napkin or bib may encourage healthy eating habits.
Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease can present many challenges for family caregivers who lack expertise in Alzheimer’s care. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of North Broward home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To speak with one of our friendly Care Managers and create an in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 954-906-5161.