Essential oils are a unique multidimensional healing tool that helps prevent imbalance on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Essential oils can help reduce stress and help to prevent future stress related issues, sleep disruptions and mood imbalance. The benefits of aromatherapy in assisting our residents with sleeplessness, physical frustrations, lack of appetite, pain and other emotional and physical ailments, have been proven over many years by our staff to support the residents well-being.
Essential oils effect both the olfactory (smelling mechanism) and limbic (center of memory, emotion and motivation) systems. Essential oil molecules bypass mental thought process and go directly to emotional responses and memories. Essential oils entering the body via the respiratory system or through the skin, still offer the physical and energetic benefits, even if the resident can’t smell, thus, making them highly effective in the holistic care of our residents.
Aromatherapy is a part of our resident’s life in our residential care homes since 2001. We carefully craft a personal aromatherapy plan for each individual with input from the residents’ entire care team. It is important that we help guide and support our residents on their journey with a holistic approach rather than utilizing medications as a first line of support.
Our care staff receive training on the use of essential oils during their initial orientation, so they can start using them from their first day of interacting with the residents. The staff are taught creative approaches to applying essential oils and the importance of following the personal aromatherapy plans of the residents.
The selection of oils that we use at English Rose Suites help our residents sleep better, increase appetite sensations, find relief from pain, uplift their mood and calm any anxiety that they may be feeling.
English Rose Suites partnered with HealthPartners Center for Memory and Aging and an Ebenezer community to conduct an IRB study using Lavender Essential oil for sleep.
Each resident performed a MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) and a Sniff Magnitude Test to initiate the study. The study measured movement during sleep using actigraphs on each residents’ wrist. Every resident was given a diffuser for their room and studied for three weeks. The first week was an acclimation week to be sure that the resident would be okay with the steps of the study from application of the oils to the diffusers going in their room. The next two weeks they either received a placebo oil that wouldn’t make any difference and the opposite week they received lavender. At the end of each week a nurse filled out a Neurological Physiatrist Inventory on each resident and the data was uploaded and studied. The results of the study found that each resident received an extra 42.6 extra minutes of restful sleep each night.