For some, the winter months bring with them times of cheer, heart-filled merriment, and spirited connection. But for many, the season delivers just the opposite: stress, alienation, and even illness.
When a person first moves from home to a senior care setting or transitions from one community to another, the change can feel overwhelming. For some seniors, change brings fear and anxiety, and for residents living with dementia, it can trigger agitation and aggression.
Harold, a long-time resident of a Texas senior living community, struggled with severe anxiety and depression. In an effort to help stabilize Harold’s mood swings, his care team introduced him to aromatherapy. This complementary therapy approach uses essential oils from plants to address health challenges and support overall wellness.
Many senior living communities are looking for ways to decrease the use of antipsychotic medications through nonpharma approaches. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set a national goal of reducing the use of antipsychotic medication in long-term care facilities by 15 percent by the end of 2019.
A viable alternative? Aromatherapy. CMS supports the use of aromatherapy as an “individualized, nonpharmacological intervention to help meet behavioral health needs.” Clinical studies point to promising results: aromatherapy programs have helped in reducing medications for pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as improving sleep and lowering fall rates.
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.