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Better Bathing: The Benefits of Aromatherapy for Seniors

With walk-in tubs, bath time can be more than just a way to get clean. There is a wide range of benefits that come from simply taking a bath that can improve seniors’ mood, health, and physical condition. But how does aromatherapy play a part in this? Here are some ways aromatherapy can be beneficial for older adults. 

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a therapeutic practice that uses natural plant extracts (commonly known as essential oils) to promote healthy living and general wellbeing in people. Essential oils can either be applied to the skin or diffused so that the aromas can be experienced through a person’s sense of smell. Some claim that using essential oils can help individuals: 

  • Manage pain 
  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Ease discomfort 
  • Boost natural immunity 
  • Improve relaxation and sleep 
  • Promote general wellbeing 

Find out how some people use aromatherapy as a part of their bathing routines. 

Stress Relief

Aromatherapy triggers the olfactory nerve (the first cranial nerve that is a part of your autonomic nervous system that enables your sense of smell). It also affects the part of your brain that regulates your emotions and your mood. The calming effect of using essential oils helps relax the body and mind, which is a natural way to ease stress and anxiety.  

Improved Sleep

The sense of smell can play a role in quality of sleep. Smells are connected to memories and routine, and experiencing a specific smell during a nightly bathing routine can help subconsciously prepare you for sleep. Essential oils can also help you fall asleep faster by regulating your circadian rhythm, which promotes a natural sleep cycle throughout your life. 

Better Mental Health 

Some studies have found that aromatherapy can aid in improving mental health. Essential oils affect the central nervous system, which can help ease feelings of depression and anxiety and overall boost your mood. They are currently used worldwide in the management of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, some cognitive disorders, insomnia and stress-related disorders. 

Lower Pain Levels

Several studies have shown that aromatherapy can help with pain by relaxing the body, easing pressure on the joints. Some essential oils have even been scientifically proven to have pain management and soothing properties (such as lavender); they have been used to soothe burns and rashes on the skin. Essential oils have been used as a replacement for opioids and other pain management medications. 

Easing Dementia Symptoms

Aromatherapy can also reduce some of the negative behaviors exhibited by those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Agitation and uncharacteristic aggression are common in patients with degenerative brain diseases due to the confusion and anxiety these diseases cause. In certain patients, aromatherapy can be helpful in relaxing the feelings of stress at the root of these behaviors and make the effects of the disease more manageable for both the patient and their caretakers. 

Improve Bathing by Incorporating Aromatherapy

The therapeutic benefits of essential oils go beyond simple hygiene; they can greatly improve the mood, mental health, and symptoms of pain in older adults, all while providing them with a luxurious aromatherapy experience. At Independent Home, our walk-in tubs are equipped with essential oil dispensers that are built directly into the tub itself. They are just one of the many luxury features our tubs have that make bathing safer, convenient, and more enjoyable.  

If you’re ready to transform your bathroom to better suit your needs or the needs of an aging adult, give us a call at 888-239-1058 for a free consultation. 


Disclaimer: this information is for general research purposes only. If you are suffering from any type of medical condition, consult with your physician before using essential oils as a part of your treatment plan. 

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