Aromatherapy is being used more and more as studies continue to show that there are benefits to using it in a multitude of settings and population groups – including older adults.
Aromatherapy programs have been successful in reducing pain, depression, anxiety and stress levels in older adults.The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
When caring for older adults who may be finding it stressful to perform a task, even as simple as taking a shower – the use of aromatherapy along with other techniques can help to greatly reduce their stress level and help them to achieve their task.
The Aromatherapy products that we recommend to help reduce stress levels in older adults include:
Diffuser To Put The Essential Oils In
You’ll need a diffuser which is something that you can put your essential oil in which then produces the scent in the air and giving you the benefits of aromatherapy.
There are many different types to choose from – you can see them here.
Lavender Essential Oil
Several studies on the benefits of Lavender essential oil has produced the general conclusion that it can be an effective tool in helping to reduce anxiety and stress.
A 2018 study on mice showed that linalool, one of the compounds in lavender, had similar effects on the brain as common anxiety medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines.MedicalNewsToday.com
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oils have not had the benefit of many studies but what little has been researched has produced positive results.
A 2015 study in the journal Forschende Komplementärmedizin (Research in Complementary Medicine) found that people who inhaled bergamot essential oil (diffused with water vapor) had reduced levels of stress hormones, improved mood, and reduced fatigue when compared with a control group.Health.com
Lemon Balm Essential Oil
This Melissa essential oil is a lemon balm essential oil which has also been studied with some positive results in helping to reduce anxiety and agitation.
Studies have suggested that rosmarinic acid (which is found in lemon balm) increases the availability of neurotransmitters in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Low levels of GABA in the brain is believed to be associated with anxiety and other mood disorders.VeryWellHealth.com
Rosemary Essential Oil
I have to admit that Rosemary essential oil is my favorite and one that I use often to help me when I feel an anxiety attack coming.
Research shows that simply inhaling the aroma of rosemary essential oil can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. High cortisol levels are caused by stress, anxiety or any thought or event that puts your body in “fight-or-flight” mode.IntrepidMentalHealth.com
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oils are actually best for helping to reduce physical pain such as general muscle aches which, as we all know, many older adults experience.
If your senior loved one is feeling less physical pain, their stress and anxiety level may also be decreased.
Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which is frequently used in pain-relieving formulations, especially for musculoskeletal pain.National Library of Medicine
Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang-ylang essential oil has a sweet flowery scent that may be very soothing for your senior loved one.
Ylang Ylang aroma has been shown to be relaxing and decrease blood pressure in many small studies. One study found that Ylang Ylang aroma calmed the nervous system, leading to lower heart rate and blood pressure and heart rhythms on electrocardiogram (EKG).Dr. Marlynn Wei, M.D., J.D. in Psychology Today
There are many other essential oils available that can help with a variety of issues but the ones that I mentioned above are some of the most common ones for seniors.