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Aroma therapy for seniors and essential oils have been in use for years to relieve symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depression. According to research, essential oils can also boost memory, improve moods, and ease agitation in patients living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Cavalier Senior Living uses aroma therapy for seniors in memory care communities. Research reveals that as scents are inhaled, it has a direct influence on the brain’s emotional center called the limbic system. This system is vital to emotions, behavior, and long-term memory. Introducing certain scents can kindle cerebral functions, prompt memories, and comfort individuals facing memory related challenges.

The ability to smell is powerful. It provides a unique connection to memory and emotion, which is why smell can have such a specific and positive effect on us. Tara Odom, Vice President of Operations, said “Our hope is that Aroma Therapy will help residents to unlock memories and evoke positive emotions. We are using diffusers in common areas and essential oil cleaning wipes before they eat.”

The following oils are widely available and effective at treating/controlling different dementia symptoms:


Lavender is associated with calmness. It can ease anxiety and lessen mood swings. Use lavender as a massage oil, lightly spray it on your bed linens, or simply inhale the scent at times of stress.


Peppermint is an energizing scent, used to stimulate the mind. Senior adults should consider using peppermint oil in the morning with a diffuser or room spray. Additionally, topical application of peppermint oil has antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-fungal and analgesic properties.


Like peppermint, rosemary offers an uplifting and invigorating scent that stimulates the mind. Rosemary can also improve cognitive performance and memory for seniors.


Bergamot is a citrus oil that helps enliven the senses. Use this oil to treat stress, agitation, and anxiety. Consider putting drops of bergamot in a bath, using massage oil or clothing spray. When ingested research also suggests that the oil may lower cholesterol for senior adults.


Lemon oil is effective in increasing relaxation, improving memory, and ease indigestion.


Aroma Therapy for Seniors at Cavalier Senior Living

It’s not just about choosing the right oils; it’s also about implementing them effectively. At Cavalier Senior Living, we use both methodical and personalized care in our assisted living communities. We begin by understanding the unique needs and preferences of each assisted living resident. Some seniors might respond better to certain scents, while others might have aversions or allergies. Our skilled assisted living staff then integrate aromatherapy into daily routines. This can be done through diffusers in common areas, personal inhalers, or even aromatherapy hand massages.

Of course, safety is important. While essential oils offer many benefits, they are used with care and caution.


Memory Care from Cavalier Senior Living

At Cavalier Senior Living, our memory care communities have been providing world class memory in Alabama care since 2004. Embracing the Journey is a person-centered memory care program that weaves together your loved one’s past, present and future into a warm, comfortable memory care experience. We seek to honor the life story of all our memory care residents while helping them connect to the world around them and the people they love.

We offer a wide variety of assisted living facilities and services for both the elderly and memory-impaired across Alabama. Our teams of medical and community-driven professionals are here to make sure your loved ones are well taken care of in every sense. For more information on memory care and assisted living in Alabama, contact Cavalier Senior Living today!