As we age, our bodies go through changes that can sometimes make us feel not-so-great. We may have more aches and pains, might not sleep as well as we used to, and our skin can become more dry and sensitive.
However, there are some effective ways to help offset some of these changes – one of which is the use of essential oils.
Essential oils have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties, and many people swear by their ability to help with a variety of common problems, both physical and mental.
While there are endless claims about the positive effects and benefits of essential oils, it’s important to remember that each person is different, and what works for one might not work for another.
If you’re interested in trying essential oils, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable brand.
One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is through aromatherapy. This involves using the oils in a diffuser or adding them to your bathtub.
Even if you have lost your sense of smell or it has been diminished, aromatherapy with essential oils can still be effective.
Aromatherapy can be used to help with a variety of issues, including stress relief, anxiety, and insomnia.
Besides aromatherapy, there are other ways that you can use essential oils.
- apply the oil directly onto your skin (although I would use a lot of caution with this. Applying via the use of a carrier oil would be a better option for seniors)
- add drops of essential oils to your bath water
- add a few drops of oils to your shampoo
- add it to your skin lotion (but avoid putting anything with essential oil on your face)
Just be sure to do a patch test first to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction to the oil.
Essential oils can be a wonderful way to naturally improve your health and well-being. Just be sure to do your research, speak to your doctor and use them safely!
What Are Essential Oils And What Do They Do?
Essential oils are highly concentrated versions of the natural oils found in plants. These oils are typically extracted through a process of steam distillation or cold pressing, and they can be used for a variety of purposes.
Some people use essential oils to support their health and well-being, while others use them for their pleasant smell or as a natural cleaning solution.
There are many different types of essential oils, each with their own unique benefits. For example, some popular essential oils include lavender oil, which is often used to promote relaxation, and peppermint oil, which is known for its invigorating properties.
With so many different types of essential oils available, there is sure to be one that can meet your needs.
The most common method use of essential oils is aromatherapy by placing the oil in a diffuser. It can be a daily routine for some people while others use them more sparingly.
According to research, the fragrance component of aroma oil is transmitted to the brain via the olfactory nerve through inhalation. Signals from the brain then travel throughout the central nervous system, including the limbic system and hypothalamus, which control human instincts and emotions.National Library of Medicine
This means that some essential oils can help to produce or enhance feelings of happiness, relaxation, focus or energy.
How Can Essential Oils Help Seniors?
Many seniors experience a decline in health as they age. This can be due to a number of factors, including dementia, depression, arthritis, and chronic health issues like heart and respiratory problems.
The main benefit of essential oils for seniors is that they can help to ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger, agitation and other mental health issues. This is because the oils work to stimulate the limbic system, which is responsible for regulating emotions.
The limbic system is made up of the parts of the brain that control memory, mood, and emotion. When the limbic system is stimulated, it can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety and stress. This can be beneficial for seniors who are struggling with mental health issues.
Aromatherapy works by stimulating olfactory receptors that in turn stimulate the part of the brain that is linked to the regulation of emotions. It has been widely used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.news-medical.net
In addition, essential oils can also help to improve seniors’ cognitive function. This is because the oils can help to increase blood flow and oxygenation to the brain. This can help to improve memory and concentration.
This claim needs more studies to definitively prove that it’s true but there have been a few studies that indicate that Rosemary essential oils may be of benefit, cognitively, for seniors with dementia.
…study in 2013, scientists found that rosemary may enhance the ability to remember events. Also, it helps people keep future tasks in mind. Since memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of dementia, this function could make rosemary oil an important component of therapy to combat dementia.news-medical.net
If you or a senior loved one is not allergic to or bothered by using rosemary oil in their aromatherapy diffuser, it may be worth a try.
Aromatherapy Programs In Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are using aromatherapy to help their residents (and the staff). One such facility is Spring Hills.
There are a number of ways to incorporate aromatherapy into nursing home and assisted living facilities. One option is to have diffusers in common areas such as the lobby or dining room. This way, residents and staff can benefit from the relaxing properties of the essential oils.
Another option is to offer aromatherapy treatments as part of the recreation or activities programs. For example, residents could receive massages with lavender-infused oil or take part in relaxation sessions that utilize chamomile oil.
If you are considering incorporating aromatherapy into your facility, it is important to consult with a qualified aromatherapist. They can help you choose the right essential oils and determine the best way to use them in order to achieve the desired results.
Aromatherapy can be a great way to improve the lives of elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and even improve cognitive function.
Are There Any Risks For Seniors Using Essential Oils
While essential oils offer a variety of benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks before using them, especially if you’re elderly.
- One of the most common risks is skin irritation, which can be caused by using essential oils that are too concentrated or by not diluting them properly. If you or your senior loved one has sensitive skin, I would recommend to avoid putting any essential oil directly on the skin.
- In addition, some essential oils can interact with medications, so it’s important to check with your doctor before using them.
- Finally, elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of essential oils, so it’s important to start with a lower concentration and increase it gradually as needed.
By taking these safety precautions, you can help ensure that your experience with essential oils is safe and enjoyable.
Who Should Not Use Essential Oils?
There are a few groups of people who should not use essential oils, either due to their medical conditions or because they may be more sensitive to the effects of these potent substances.
Pregnant women and young children, for example, should generally avoid using essential oils except under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
In addition, people with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, should use essential oils only with caution and under the supervision of a doctor. It’s important to know the safe amount of oil to use, if at all.
Also, some people may have heightened allergic reactions to essential oils. You may know right away because once you are exposed to it, you would experience things like watery eyes, itchy skin, sneezing, congestion, etc.
Dr. Sanjeev Jain, board-certified allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy, says that while allergy symptoms depend on the route of administration (inhalation versus topical application), it’s not uncommon for people to experience both at the same time.cnet.com
As with any substance you introduce to your environment, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when using essential oils. If you have any doubts about whether an oil is right for you, consult a healthcare professional before using it.
Read this article on Essentialoils.life about the interactions of essential oils with certain medications.
It’s always important to be as safe as possible with your health.
What Is The Safest Essential Oil To Use?
The right way to use essential oils depends on many factors, including a person’s age, health, and how the oil is being used.
In general, however, essential oils are safe for most people when used correctly.
Generally speaking, the oils that are regarded as safe to use include..
- There’s a larger list at International Childbirth Education Association
But again, these lists are general and not specific for each individual person. If you notice a headache or itchy skin or any other symptom after being exposed to an essential oil, stop using it immediately.
There are several factors to consider when determining the safest essential oil to use.
The first is to consider the quality of the oil. Not all essential oils are created equal and some brands may be better than others. It’s important to buy from a reputable company that uses high-quality ingredients and follows good manufacturing practices.
The second factor to consider is the purity of the oil. Some essential oils are more diluted than others and may not be as potent. If you’re looking for a specific therapeutic benefit, it’s important to choose an oil that is highly concentrated.
The third factor to consider is your own sensitivities and allergies. Some people may be more sensitive to certain essential oils than others. It’s important to test a small amount of the oil on your skin before using it more liberally.
When used properly, essential oils can be a powerful tool for promoting health and well-being. However, it’s important to exercise caution and choose high-quality products to avoid any adverse reactions.
The Best Essential Oils For Older Adults
While there are a lot of different essential oils out there, some of the best for seniors are ones that help boost the immune system, like oregano or thyme oil. These can be helpful in warding off colds and other illnesses.
Other good options include lavender (which can promote relaxation), peppermint (which can help with respiratory issues), and eucalyptus (which can also help with respiratory problems).
- Oregano oil – According to webmd.com, oregano oil is a “…rich source of antioxidants…can help to repair the body’s cells and reduce the rate of aging and the risk of some disease.“
- Thyme oil – There was a study in 2010 from the Journal of Lipid Research that identified that the carvacrol found in thyme oil was an “…effective anti-inflammatory agent with cardioprotective capabilities, making it potentially beneficial for people with heart disease.“
- Lavender oil – An interesting study in Japan done in 3 nursing homes found that the subjects exposed to lavender essential oil fell fewer times than the group of individuals who were not exposed. (source: herbalgram.org)
- Peppermint oil – Traditionally used to treat nausea, indigestion and stomach cramps. This can help as an appetite stimulants for older adults who are not eating well. Even if they suffer from problems with their digestive system.
- Eucalyptus oil – There are multiple benefits of eucalyptus oil for older adults. Some include helping to relieve joint pain (arthritic pain), help with respiratory coughs and headaches.
These are just a few of the best essential oils for seniors. If you’re unsure about which one to use, or how to use it, be sure to consult with a doctor or aromatherapist first.
Where To Apply Essential Oils On The Body
There are many ways to expose your body to essential oils. Here are some common methods:
1. Aromatherapy: Add a few drops of oil to a diffuser or humidifier, or place a drop or two on a cloth or tissue and inhale the scent.
2. Topical application: Apply oil directly to the skin, using a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil to help dilute the essential oil and reduce its potency. Common areas to apply oils are on the wrists, behind the ears, temples, and feet.
3. Bath: Add a few drops of oil to your bathtub for a relaxing and fragrant experience.
4. Massage: Add a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion or carrier oil. Massage oils that contain these fragrant liquids can help to soothe tired muscles, promote circulation, and even ease pain.
When it comes to choosing essential oils for your massage, there are many different options available. Some popular choices include lavender, chamomile, and eucalyptus.
5. Compress: Soak a cloth in water mixed with a few drops of essential oil and apply it to the skin.
Experiment with different methods and find what works best for you. Just remember to use caution when applying essential oils to the skin, as they can be potent.
Start with a very small amount and increase as needed. Never apply essential oils directly to the face, especially around the eyes.
What Essential Oils Are Good For Elderly Adults?
There are a variety of essential oils that can be beneficial for elderly people.
Some of the most popular ones include lavender oil, which is known for its calming effects, and peppermint oil, which can help to improve circulation. Other essential oils that may be helpful include chamomile oil, eucalyptus oil, and lemon oil.
These can be very helpful for older adults that demonstrate difficult behaviours such as older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
In general, essential oils should be diluted before being applied to the skin. This is especially true for elderly people, as their skin is typically thinner and more sensitive than that of younger people.
It’s important to start with a lower concentration and increase it gradually as needed.
By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your elderly loved one enjoys the benefits of essential oils without experiencing any negative side effects.
If you’re considering using essential oils to improve your elderly loved one’s health, it’s important to consult with their doctor first. This is especially true if they’re taking any medications, as there could be potential interactions
Once you’ve gotten the green light from their doctor, start with a low concentration and increase it gradually as needed.
Can Essential Oils Really Help Dementia?
The use of aromatherapy for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s is mostly to help bring about a sense of calmness.
In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD (Alzheimer’s disease) patients.National Library of Medicine
There is some preliminary evidence that suggests that certain essential oils may help improve symptoms of dementia.
One way an essential oil may help a person with dementia is by triggering a scent memory, which can be very pleasant, says Cutshall. An example of a pleasant scent memory would be smelling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.Dr. Cutshall – Mayo Clinic in Rochester
The trick is not to over saturate the environment with the smell otherwise it can lose it’s effect.
A small study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that a daily massage with rosemary and lemon essential oils improved quality of life and cognitive function in people with dementia.
Aromatherapy is an effective treatment in managing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, which improves cognitive function, increases the quality of life, and enhances independence in daily life activities.National Library of Medicine
It’s important to note that these studies are very small, and more research is needed to determine whether essential oils are effective for treating dementia. If you’re interested in trying essential oils, be sure to talk to your doctor first, as some essential oils can interact with medications.
What Family Members Need To Know
When used correctly, essential oils can be a natural and effective way to support the health of your elderly loved ones. However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when using essential oils around seniors.
- Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any essential oils, particularly if your loved one has a medical condition.
- It is important to know that not all essential oils are created equal. Some brands may be better quality than others, and some oils may be more potent than others.
- It’s also important to understand how to properly dilute essential oils. Depending on the oil’s strength, it may need to be diluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil
- Start with a low concentration of essential oil and increase gradually as needed.
- Choose milder oils rather than strong or harsh ones.
- Be sure to diffuser the oils in a well-ventilated room to avoid any irritation. By following these simple guidelines, you can safely and effectively use essential oils to support the health of your elderly loved ones.
Essential oils offer a natural way to help improve the health and well-being of elderly loved ones. They can be used to address a variety of concerns, from dementia and arthritis to respiratory problems.
While there are some risks associated with using essential oils, these can be minimized by taking precautions such as ensuring that the oil is diluted properly and only using recommended doses.
Caregivers and family members should also keep in mind that not all seniors will react to essential oils in the same way, so it’s important to start with small amounts and increase gradually as needed.
With proper care and consideration, essential oils can be a safe and effective way to improve the quality of life for seniors.