Aromatherapy enhances the well-being of seniors

Aromatherapy enhances the well-being of seniors

Aromatherapy is good for the mind, body and soul and it’s been used regularly at Good Samaritan Society – Specialty Care Community in the Twin Cities to enhance the well-being of residents since 2015.

People can benefit from aromatherapy just from smelling different oils. Because scent is closely tied to memory, positive associations with certain scents can influence one’s mood. Once the chemical structure of the aromatic properties enters a person’s olfactory system and is processed – either by breathing in essential oils or putting them on the skin – their mood can be shifted as the oils activate certain areas of the brain.

There are a handful of oils – such as spearmint and grapefruit – that will help improve a person’s mood and boost their overall well-being if they feel sleepy or have low energy.

Other oils, like lavender, can help those who feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed.

If caregivers notice someone who’s acting anxious, they can have them smell the oils associated with being calm and feeling peaceful while also practicing deep-breathing techniques.

Aromatherapy is also offered in group settings for residents that also incorporate other sensory experiences, such as massaging of their hands and having them listen to musical instruments played by a music therapist. They can also look at a photo of something peaceful, like a nature scene projected on the screen.

The caregiving team is educated on the benefits of aromatherapy and trained in how to provide aromatherapy so they can engage in that type of care when needed.

Supporting those with Huntington’s disease

In addition to seniors, Specialty Care Community provides care for those living with Huntington’s disease.

Aromatherapy has been positive for this group of people, with some of them using the scent of lavender at bedtime as part of their sleep hygiene.

Residents often advocate for themselves and tell caregivers what they like and don’t like with aromatherapy.

Your well-being is important at the Good Samaritan Society.

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