Leading senior care providers are constantly looking for the latest in care innovations to serve their community. An increasingly safe and popular option is aromatherapy – the practice of using essential oils from plants to address health challenges and support overall wellness.
In addition to being a nonpharmacological approach to meet behavioral health issues experienced by seniors in living communities, aromatherapy programs have helped in reducing medications for pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as improving sleep and lowering fall rates.
Today, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). By 2050, this number is projected to nearly triple. In the wake of an ADRD epidemic, the need for specialized training and support for caregivers is critical to ensure highly proficient and sensitive direct care to this growing population.
In 2003, two innovators in dementia care, Sandra Stimson and Lynn Biot-Gordon, founded an organization devoted to promoting standards of excellence in ADRD education. Called the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP), this group offers a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) program to professionals and other caregivers who provide services to ADRD clients.
Health literacy is our ability to understand health information and make the best health care decisions. A seminal study of these skills has issued a troubling report card: just 12 percent of all adults – and 3 percent of seniors – have proficient health literacy.
“Low health literacy has been linked to poor health outcomes, such as higher rates of hospitalization and less frequent use of preventive services,” says Callie Whitwell, chief operating officer and founding partner at Lifetime Wellness. Her company provides person-centered wellness, life enrichment, and recreational programming to independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, and memory care facilities throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
It’s been called “The Long Goodbye.” Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) cause memory decline, cognitive impairment, and eventual loss of daily functioning. Today, 5.7 million Americans are living with the disease – with numbers projected to more than double by 2050.
Of those living with ADRD, 90 percent struggle with behavioral and psychological symptoms, from agitation and aggression to psychosis. These symptoms can be devastating for the person with ADRD and challenging for those who provide care – family members and health care staff alike.
Nearly 40 percent of seniors have at least one disability, and the majority of that number have mobility challenges too. However, senior exercise shouldn’t be impacted by limited mobility. Many creative approaches are in motion to help mobility-challenged seniors stay fit.
Adapting to the Changes
“Having a mobility issue – whether from a disability, injury, or chronic condition – changes many parts of a person’s life,” says Callie Whitwell, chief operating officer and founding partner at Lifetime Wellness. Her company provides person-centered wellness, life enrichment, and recreational programming to independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, and memory care facilities throughout Texas and Oklahoma.