Both conventional and unconventional therapies can offer valuable benefits to Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones. If you have a family member living with memory impairment and you’re interested in learning more about new treatments, you may want to explore aromatherapy. Here are three ways that aromatherapy can aid memory care:
Scent Activates Emotional Responses Anyone who has ever smelled a scent that quickly sent him or her into thoughts of childhood or a specific place or person from the past knows that scent can quickly trigger powerful memories. Once a scent enters the nose, it causes nerves to signal parts of the brain including the amygdala and hippocampus. These two parts are responsible for emotional understanding and associative learning, which are both essential in the fight to preserve memory.
Oils Stimulate Energy and Hunger Many assisted living facilities have discovered that residents who are exposed to aromatherapy oils in the morning have an easier time gaining energy for the day. Additionally, residents expressed a greater desire to eat, which has led many to believe that aromatherapy increases the appetite. Since decreased appetite can be a major problem for those in the memory-impaired community, aromatherapy should be considered for its potential to stimulate hunger.
Therapy Leads to Improvement in Cognitive Function The results of a 2009 study on twenty-eight patients with dementia concluded that all of the patients treated with aromatherapy showed improvement in personal orientation measured by two observed evaluation scales. Although these patients showed no physical improvements when laboratory test results came in, doctors still observed significant behavioral, social, and cognitive improvements.
If you have a loved one living with us here at Governors Glen, be sure to discuss the benefits of this natural therapy with one of our staff. We’re always embracing new effective ways to assist our memory care residents. Call us today at (678) 954-2372 to learn about all of our memory stimulation activities.