Safe and all-natural, essential oils offer a number of health benefits to elderly patients.
Essential oils are often seen as a complement to traditional, natural medicine, and their benefits to seniors are continually being explored. So far, essential oils have been shown to have promising effects on conditions commonly experienced by the elderly, including dementia, insomnia, arthritis, and even digestive issues.
Let’s look at some of the most common benefits of essential oils for seniors and why they’re becoming a go-to option.
Seniors that experience insomnia or other difficulty sleeping may find that chamomile, lavender, or patchouli helps them relax and get a better night’s sleep. You can place a few drops on the pillowcase or add a bit to a warm bath before bedtime.
Ease Arthritis Pain
Stiff joints caused by arthritis aren’t just painful. They severely limit many seniors’ mobility and desire to do anything. Essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, ginger, primrose, and ginger have analgesic properties that act as anti-inflammatory agents. This can help to reduce swelling that causes joint pain and allow your loved one to enjoy more freedom with every movement.
Higher Energy Levels
Just as some essential oils promote sleep and relaxation, others can help to provide a boost in energy levels. Citrus oils, such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit, are commonly used to enhance focus and stimulate the brain. These same oils can also be used to improve moods, which can also provide motivation to be active.
Relaxation for Dementia and Anxiety
Seniors who suffer from dementia or anxiety may find that using essential oils can mitigate the effects of these conditions. Oils like peppermint stimulate brain activity and improve cognition, which can help adults with dementia to relieve distress associated with decreased memory spans.
Many seniors who have dementia also experience anxiety. Citrus oils work well in combating depression and anxiety because they have antidepressant properties.
Digestive issues are common among seniors. As we age, our digestive systems stop functioning as well as they used to. Mixing essential oils with a carrier oil, such as vegetable oil, then rubbing the mixture onto the abdomen has been shown to stimulate digestion. The best oils to use for this purpose are ginger, marjoram, orange, or chamomile.
Safe Alternative to Candles
Aside from specific health conditions, essential oils also provide a healthier alternative to candles and artificial fragrances. Many seniors may rely on candles to get rid of foul odors, but candles can be bad for your lungs and health and also pose a fire risk if a lit candle is neglected.
In addition, artificial fragrances are comprised of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been shown to contribute to a number of health issues like allergies, asthma, kidney damage, and even cancer.
Families can gain more peace of mind when they swap out their loved one’s candles for essential oils. Plus, the natural scent usually smells better than artificial fragrances.
For more tips on caring for your senior loved ones, head back to the Tailored Home Care blog.