Dementia can really negatively affect your quality of life.
Imagine experiencing symptoms like losing chunks of memories that connect you to your past and loved ones, severe agitation and paranoia, and loss of focus on even the most menial tasks.
It is not only scary but also incredibly frustrating.
Famous figures like President Ronald Reagan, composer Aaron Copeland, high profile athletes like Betty Schwartz, and actors like Arlene Francis have all suffered from dementia. It is a condition that cuts across the board.
Unfortunately, dementia damages parts of the brain, which is why it varies from person to person. This also means that the condition cannot be cured.
Is senility the same as dementia?
There are many similarities between the two conditions. However, senility is a combination of both physical and mental decline that comes with age while dementia is a mental decline as a result of brain disease or damage.
Dementia has three stages:
Early or stage one dementia
At this stage, the person suffering from dementia will notice changes that adversely affect their ability to respond to daily issues, communicate and focus.
While these changes are noticeable one can still carry on with their daily activities by having reminders in their routine or having mechanisms to help you cope like essential oils.
Signs of early dementia
- Forgetting recent events
- Difficulty retaining new information
- Difficulty completing an idea or suddenly losing the thread of a conversation
- Sudden changes in mood
Middle or stage 2 dementia
The brain capabilities including memory and thinking deteriorate even further. However, the patient is still able to recognize familiar people and environments.
The middle stage of dementia goes on the longest and is the one that requires the most care. Professional help may come in handy because at this point one cannot undertake daily tasks on their own.
Reminders when talking to the patient are necessary during this stage. Even immediate family members need to identify themselves.
Signs of middle stage dementia
- Episodes of paranoia or very realistic hallucinations
- Instances of aggressive behavior
- Poor recognition of close friends and family
- Need for simple language to follow the conversation
This stage renders the patient incapable of doing even the most basic self-hygiene tasks for themselves. They need care throughout and cannot be left alone.
Signs of advanced dementia
- The person will become extremely frail
- Difficulty in eating or swallowing
- Lack of consciousness
- Poor breathing patterns
- More need for admission in hospital
The effect of essential oils on the pituitary gland and limbic system allows your body to produce endorphins and antibodies that keep the body and mind healthy. They also promote the production of neurotransmitters for healthy brain function.
How to use essential oils for dementia?
Make a blend that contains mild scents like lavender and dilute the oils in easily absorbed carrier oil like jojoba oil. After a bath or shower spend at least five to ten minutes massaging the oils all over the patients’ body to relax them and enhance their mood.
The massage oil above can become part of a daily skincare routine. Alternatively, drop some of the oil on an essential oil bracelet, ring or necklace to help keep the person focused and centered whenever they experience a symptom like mood swings.
A bath is a great way to utilize essentially, because the heat from the water not only opens up the pores, but it facilitates easy absorption of the oil. After a long day, this is the perfect way to eliminate stress and release negative energy that can contribute to or exacerbate dementia.
Place a few drops in a bowl of hot water, cover the head with a towel and directly inhale the vapors that are released with the steam. Keep in mind as the condition progresses it may become increasingly difficult to use this method with the affected person.
This is another relaxing way of absorbing the benefits of essential oils. Not only is the foot soak relaxing the oils also helps de-stress, fight depression and relax the affected person enough to facilitate a good night sleep.
This can work in two ways: create your own body lotion with essential oils or add the oils to your daily store-bought lotion. Either way, the oils are easily absorbed into your skin and you can always reapply as you need to throughout the day.
The beautiful scent of ylang-ylang helps calm agitation in dementia patients. The feel-good feelings it prompts help with sleep and restlessness.
Just like all the other oils in our list, it can be used by both the patient and caregiver to provide balance for both.
It also helps with insomnia and de-stressing especially in the early stages of the condition.
doTerra is a very reputable company that produces excellent essential oils. The purity and potency of the oil are very high making it a high-quality product.
This is a pure product that features a high-quality extract. It has a great scent that is unmistakably ylang-ylang.
Here is a product that inspires confidence because it is well developed and adheres to high-quality assurance standards.
This is one of the most highly sought after products in essential oils. It is not only high quality but it is also an excellent way to care for the skin and hair of the patient.
Lavender is a very soothing oil. It helps calm, relax and soothe patients with dementia to a degree.
The scent is easy on the senses allowing people suffering from dementia to gently ease into a state of calmness.
It also helps with insomnia, especially in the middle stage where sleep can become elusive.
In the advanced stage, it can help calm the patient as they drift in and out of consciousness.
Lavender is such an easily available loved essential oil that has no reports of toxicity or negative side effects on users.
You need something easy on the nervous system, especially as dementia continues to deteriorate the health of the affected person. Lavender is definitely a great option.
You can find more information about lavender oil here.
When you think of peppermint you think of a cool, fresh and revitalizing scent. Battling dementia, especially in the early stages, can leave one disoriented and confused, as they try hard to grasp whatever idea, thought or even conversation they were having.
Peppermint can soothe the frayed mind, calm the senses and get the patient back on track with a few minutes of inhalation and relaxation.
It also helps revive appetite which is much needed in the mid and advanced stages.
This product is highly effective using natural extract. You can expect a strong minty fresh scent that easily diffuses and oil that is easily absorbed by the skin.
Because peppermint helps to boost memory, you can consider not only massaging your loved one with this oil but also brewing a cup of peppermint for them.
This oil is clear in color, but it is put in colored glass to prevent the healing properties from being compromised.
The potency of this oil is exceptional. It has a strong minty scent without being too overpowering.
When you receive it the packaging is well secured and the glass bottles are sturdy.
This is an affordable product that gives you the fresh peppermint scent. It is high quality and well packaged making it safe for use.
It is a safe product that has been tested and protected to ensure you have clean oil. The potency of the scent allows it to be used in a blend with other scents without the essence being lost.
The versatility of this product ensures it will not only help with coping with dementia but also freshens the air quality of the room. This is important because fresh air brings vibrancy.
This is a very high-quality product with the ability to sooth the symptoms of dementia. Not only does it work effectively – it features the pure genuine scent of rosemary.
The simple yet effective packaging of this product ensures that you get easy to use oil, without the problem of wastage.
An amber bottle and a dropper allow you to keep the oil for longer without fear of sun rays interference, while also using just what you need.
Sun Organic has a great reputation for producing high quality, tested and vetted essential oil.
This is a great oil with high potency that still remains mild enough to work in a blend. The oil has no additives so you can a little to achieve your needs.
Lemon’s invigorating scent can certainly revive the senses and boost the mood of a dementia patient.
It literally brings sunshine to the affected person, reducing aggressive behavior and agitation.
The oil can be applied to the hands, neck, and face of the patient for excellent results.
Food grade lemon balm can be ingested for the same effect.
This is an excellent product for mood-boosting and calming a dementia patient. You will love the strong scent.
Essential oil recipes for dementia
For a bath
Infuse the patient’s bath water with the oil and let them soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes at most. The invigorating scents will uplift their spirit and calm agitation.
- 5 drops of peppermint oil
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 2 drops of Roman chamomile oil[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
Place the oils in your diffuser and leave the vapors in the patient’s room for at least an hour before bedtime. It is best to let the diffusion take place without the patient in the room, so that they are able to feel the impact of the oils when they do sleep in the room.
For topical application
- 3 drops of rosemary oil
- 3 drops of peppermint oil
- 3 drops of lemon balm oil
- 3 drops of ylang-ylang oil
- 1 tbs of coconut oil
Mix all the oils together and gently massage onto the patient’s body after a bath.
Dementia is an incurable condition that needs constant care not just for the patient, but also the caregiver.
Essential oils may offer both a soft landing in the face of a huge health challenge. It is nature’s way of soothing us when we are fighting our way through brain fog.
Do you know any other essential oils we forgot to mention for dementia? Have something to add that can help cope with the condition?
Leave a comment below and let us know.