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Can Aromatherapy Help Seniors in Memory Care?

You may already be familiar with some of aromatherapy’s many benefits. Essential oils, for instance, can help us unwind after a long day, providing us with the opportunity to decompress and even improving our overall health. But can aromatherapy actually benefit seniors in memory care?
BridgeWater Assisted Living is an assisted living and memory care community based in Tucson, Arizona. We’re committed to exploring all pathways that can improve the quality of life of our residents. Here’s what we know about the benefits of aromatherapy and how it can aid in the treatment of memory care patients.

Reduces Stress

If aromatherapy oils help us relax, it’s only natural that they would also reduce stress in seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Memory loss can cause anxiety in seniors, causing them to become agitated or behave aggressively—behavior they may not typically exhibit.
But using the right aromatherapy mix can calm dementia patients. For instance, one study shows that certain essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, and lemon balm can alleviate symptoms of agitation and aggression.
So how exactly does aromatherapy calm our senses? Aromatherapy works by stimulating olfactory receptors which communicate with the part of the brain that regulates our emotions, meaning certain aromatherapy scents can soothe us and even boost our mood. When we are in a relaxed state of mind, we feel more comfortable and at ease. The same holds true for memory care residents.

Improves Sleep

Another factor that impacts our mood is the amount of sleep we get. Sleep patterns affect our energy levels which, in turn, affect how we feel. The better we sleep, the less likely we are to become moody or irritable.
Aromatherapy can improve our sleep patterns, making us feel more energized and alert. Bergamot, lavender, and chamomile are just a few of the essential oils that can help us sleep more soundly, allowing us to get a good night’s rest.

Boosts Cognitive Function

At BridgeWater, we’re committed to improving the cognitive function of seniors in memory care. We achieve this through our holistic approach, which focuses on the mind, body, and spirit.
Just as aromatherapy can boost our mood and lift our spirits and help our bodies feel well-rested through improved sleep patterns, it can have a positive effect on brain performance. Research suggests that rosemary, for instance, can boost cognitive function and even improve our ability to recall events. Since memory loss is a hallmark symptom of dementia and Alzheimer’s, we feel aromatherapy is an option worth exploring.
In fact, we believe in exploring every measure to improve the quality of life for our memory care residents at our Tucson assisted living community. Whether large or small, no detail or option is overlooked. Aromatherapy is just one of the many natural ways we promote our resident’s overall health and well-being.
If you’d like to learn more about our memory care, reach out to us for a visit. We’d love to show you firsthand our resident-centered, results-oriented approach.