Monday, December 22, 2008

Aromatherapy and the 4 "A's" of Alzheimer's

You as an Activities Director, other healthcare professional, or caregiver will find this post most informative
Alzheimer's and Dementia Weekly

There are many ways to care for people who are struggling with the "4 A's of Alzheimer's" – anxiety, aggression, agitation and apathy – but one of the most interesting and non-invasive is through the use of essential oils, known as aromatherapy.

Good Science

Two studies examined the efficacy of aromatherapy in decreasing agitated behavior in older adults with severe Alzheimer’s. In the first study, a two percent lavender oil aroma mist was streamed into a ward for a two-hour period every other day for a total of ten treatments. On alternate days, water was used for the sake of comparison. The majority of residents, a full 60%, showed a modest improvement in agitated behavior while 33% showed no change, indicating that it noticeably helped most patients with virtually no adverse effects.

The second study explored the effect of direct application of Melissa essential oil, also known as lemon balm. Its effect on the agitated behavior of those with severe dementia was compared to that of sunflower oil (as a placebo). The oils were combined with a base lotion and applied to the participants' faces and arms twice a day over a four-week period. The results revealed the whole article

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