essential oils for seniors

How Essential Oils Can Help Those with Dementia

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When it comes to health, the natural and organic market has been an ongoing trend. Essential oils in the past few years have been in the spotlight for their numerous health benefits. To many people’s surprise, essential oils aren’t just for the younger crowd. There are numerous health benefits for seniors as well. For example, lavender oil has been suggested to help reduce pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, reduce pain for people with kidney stones and help those suffering from dementia.

Aromas from essential oils hit the brain twice as fast as pain. They can help trigger memories and affect one’s emotions or behavior. This makes them an ideal tool for those suffering from dementia.

Ways to use essential oils:

  • You can purchase a diffuser to help the essential oil dissipate through an entire room.
  • Inhaling them is one of the most effective ways to use essential oils. When you inhale, the scent goes to your brain’s limbic system, which then works with the nervous, respiratory, circulatory and immune system.
  • Massaging the oils into your skin is one way to have them enter your system. It absorbs into your bloodstream via the skin. There are many health benefits to massages including reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Using essential oils can help to get maximum benefit from a massage.
  • Baths and showers are another way to use essential oils. You can add a few drops of essential oils into your sponge or washcloth while inhaling the oil into your system.

Here is a list of essential oils that can be beneficial to those suffering from dementia:

  1. Peppermint: This can be used as an energizer that stimulates the mind and can help calm nerves. It is recommend to use this in the morning.
  2. Lavender: One of the most well-known essential oils, lavender can be used to calm people and balance emotions. This includes helping with depression, insomnia, irritability and anger. It is recommended that it be inhaled, used in massages or mixed as a lavender water that can be sprayed on your bed.
  3. Ginger: Digestion is what ginger is best known to help. This includes constipation and loss of appetite. The recommendation is that it be applied directly to the skin, inhaled, and diffused.
  4. Rosemary: Similar to the benefits found with peppermint, rosemary can help improve cognitive performance and your mood. Other benefits include easing constipation, depression and helping with appetite. It is recommended that it is inhaled or diffused.
  5. Ylang Ylang: The benefits from ylang ylang can apply to both yourself and a caretaker. It can help those who have trouble sleeping, restlessness and depression. Lemon oil is commonly combined with it. It can be used via the bath, inhaled, diffused or massaged into skin.
  6. Lemon Balm: Few oils have been studied as extensively as lemon oil. It is thought to be one of the most effective oils and therefore is one of the most expensive. There are multiple benefits; ease indigestion, assist with memory, help with insomnia and those suffering from anxiety. This is a calming and relaxing oil and should be used in baths, inhaled, diffused or used for massages.
  7. Bergamot: If you are feeling down, then bergamot is for you. It has been known as a mood booster, a treatment to relieve insomnia and to help calm you down. Other uses include treating stress, depression, agitation and anxiety. It can be used in the bath, as a massage oil and through a diffuser.

Lastly, please remember that oils should never be swallowed and must be kept away from your eyes. Only use them in small quantities, and store them in a dark, cool location. Please research the benefits for oils themselves before purchasing.