Our understanding of the power of scent is still unveiling its wonders through an ongoing scientific journey. While the joy of carefully crafted fragrances has long been utilized by luxury providers, it’s only now that the true power certain scents have on the human psyche is coming to the fore.
While scent branding and marketing are being embraced in all fields, one—perhaps surprising—benefit of certain aromas is that of triggering memories, and especially in those diagnosed with one of the many forms of dementia. Not only that, but there’s significant evidence that aromatherapy can help calm other symptoms of dementia as well.
Aromas In The Treatment Of Dementia
The olfactory system is the only one of the human senses to bypass conscious thought and head straight to the area of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. In addition to a particular smell stimulating powers of recollection, certain fragrances can have a direct effect on many of the worst symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other forms of dementia. These include anxiety, depression, personal orientation, disturbed sleep patterns, memory retention, and even that of appetite.
Many memory centers in the US have recognized the potency of scent therapy for those living with dementia, helping patients at all stages of the disease to lead a more fulfilling existence. While there’s no evidence that such therapy can slow down the progression of these diseases, there’s compelling evidence that the right aromas can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life.
Certain scents have been highlighted as beneficial in soothing the various symptoms that go hand-in-hand with dementia.
- Lavender: Used by many for its calming effects, this promotes relaxation, decreases agitation and confusion, and can help stimulate a better quality of sleep.
- Peppermint: Helps re-energize, increases mood, and helps relieve intense fatigue.
- Rosemary: Stimulates body and mind, encourages appetite, and is even believed to improve cognitive performance.
- Lemon: Increases memory function, helps with anxiety and insomnia.
- Ylang Ylang: Well known as an antidote to depression and promotes healthy sleep.
- Ginger: Promotes good eating and can increase appetite.
- Citrus: Has calming properties and encourages higher levels of concentration.
- Cinnamon: Reduces irritability and drowsiness, as well as helping with attention span and improved cognitive function.
- Nutmeg: Lowers anxiety, calms anger, and promotes relaxation.
- Pine: Has been shown to significantly reduce stress and depression.
Introducing such scents or a combination of scents to the environment of those living with dementia has never been easier, thanks to the provision of the latest scent diffusers. Methods such as reeds and candles are not suitable in the vicinity of those suffering the effects of these terrible diseases, meaning the ease of cold air diffusers or those that work through existing HVAC systems ensures a safe, easy method to deliver high-grade essential oils.
Leading scent provider, Aroma360, has a collection of curated scents that combine the very aromas proven to have a beneficial effect. With a range of diffusion options that provide the required level of scenting to the exact area needed, both memory care centers and individuals who care for a loved one living with dementia can take advantage of the power of scent.