Last week, Oakwood Creative Care’s Dementia Hub hosted its first-ever aromatherapy session for caregivers of the Arizona valley. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that has been around for centuries and utilizes oils from natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Now, if you’re a caregiver to a loved one with dementia, you might be thinking to yourself, “What exactly does aromatherapy have to do with me?” The answer is actually… quite a bit! Some benefits caregivers might find from enjoying aromatherapy include improvements to mental health, boosted feelings of relaxation, and even better sleep (just to name a few!).
Happy Nose, Happy Brain!
One of the immediate benefits of aromatherapy is finding just the right combination of different scents to help set the mood for any space within your home.
Whether you are looking for a crisp and clean citrusy scent or something a little more mellow and subtle like lavender, aromatherapy offers an abundance of different options to tune your nose into.
Plus, Johns Hopkins Medicine has reported studies showing that, when inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils can travel from the olfactory nerves (where your sense of smell is activated) to the brain and significantly impact the amygdala, the brain’s emotional center.
Therefore, depending on which scent you pick, you could find yourself a natural handy helper in improving your mood, metabolism, and stress levels.
For Less Stress, Try This Aromatherapy Scent:
Smelling lavender may be relaxing for someone experiencing stress, anxiety or depression. According to Psych Central, lavender offers comfort and relief paired with a beautiful floral fragrance.
Boost Your Mind With Aromatherapy
Being a caregiver is stressful. Luckily, your nose really can be a gateway to enjoying a better quality of life. Knowing that the nose offers a direct highway to the brain, scientists have found that Aromatherapy may also affect hormonal levels and regulate the nervous system, leading to increased feelings of relaxation.
Want to know what makes this all even better? Certain aromatherapy scents geared towards increasing relaxation have also been found to have added benefits for adults living with cognitive and memory impairments.
Very Well Mind lists rosemary as having pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasm, anti-anxiety, and memory-boosting properties when inhaled. When broken down, the compounds found in rosemary—specifically rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid—may have the potential to help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Clear Your Mind With This Aromatherapy Scent:
Give yourself a little mid-day boost using Frankincense, a great essential oil for increasing alertness, clearing mental blocks, and zeroing in on your focus topic.
Helping Caregivers Sleep Through The Night
How frustrating is it to be running the wheel all day long, just to finally lay your head on the pillow and not be able to fall into a blissful sleep? As a caregiver, a good night’s sleep is an absolute must to keep your mind and body healthy and happy so you can be there for your loved one with dementia.
As a reminder, the CDC states that every adult should get at least 7 hours of sleep each night for a healthy nightly routine. If you struggle to get a full night’s rest, perhaps aromatherapy is just the solution for you!
It’s no wonder that chamomile and peppermint teas are popular evening drinks. The soothing effects of both properties, when formatted into a diffused oil, have shown positive results in regulating the body’s rhythm, clearing the mind, alleviating stress, and even opening up your nasal passages to make for easier breathing through the night.
Did You Know?
Oakwood Creative Care is bringing back the JOY in aging! We believe a diagnosis should not have to define your life. Instead, we have devoted our mission to reigniting hope for caregivers and older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related challenges. Click the button below to learn more about how we do this through our research-based, cutting-edge, creative care model found at each of our Day Clubs.