As Irish Residential Care keeps evolving, comprehensive, high-quality staff training by LHP Skillnet helps member companies not only achieve and maintain compliance with existing demands but go further and anticipate trends in the sector and upcoming standards.
A holistic approach to residential care means recognizing that quality of care for older persons must give a high priority to their quality of life, including their physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. Informed and skilled activity coordination in residential care centres is crucial to achieve better overall outcomes for individuals living in residential care.
Essential Oils in Residential Care
Many studies recommend the use of essential oils to improve the quality of life for older people in residential care, particularly those affected by dementia. A systematic review published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra in 2021 found that out of 24 studies, some reported that “aromatherapy significantly improved the QoL of PWD and relieved the distress and burden of caregivers, promoted a positive experience among caregivers, and had very low adverse effects on PWD (with aromatherapy inhalation reporting no adverse effects).”
The appeal of essential oils as a resource for carers and activity coordinators lies in their diverse therapeutic properties, such as promoting relaxation, easing stress, and enhancing sleep quality. The non-intrusive nature of aromatherapy with essential oils aligns with the preferences and comfort of older individuals, making it a viable and well-received option in residential care environments.
The use of essential oils has become very popular, and they are freely available to buy. However, not all essential oils are created equal, and variations in production methods, sourcing, and purity levels can influence their therapeutic properties. It is crucial for individuals in a residential care setting to be discerning, opting for high-quality, pure essential oils to ensure maximum benefits and minimise the risk of adverse reactions.
As the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists IFPA point out on their website, “just because they are natural does not mean they are safe. Essential oils are powerful substances and can be harmful if not used with due care and diligence.” Healthcare providers and caregivers need to be well-informed about the specific properties of each oil to tailor their usage according to the health profile and needs of the individuals in their care.
Some oils, such as citrus oils, carry potential risks and contraindications, especially for individuals with specific medical conditions or those undergoing certain medical treatments.
Knowledge & Training Are Key
Also, particularly in cases where essential oils are used in residential care settings to improve the quality of life of older persons affected by dementia, it is important that coordinators keep their activities evidence-based to maximise the benefit for their residents. For example, to achieve a measurable decrease in agitation in individuals suffering from severe dementia, cutaneous application of essential oil may be necessary, according to some comparative studies.
Using Essential Oils in Residential Care: A Basic Guideline
Liz Woods offers activity coordinators in residential care an opportunity to explore the use of essential oils in a care centre, and discover the four main principles to apply.
This introductory course for activity coordinators equips participants with key knowledge around the use of essential oils in residential care settings. It includes a live 2-hour Zoom workshop plus 12 months online access to a learning management system for a self-paced recap and knowledge check. Participants receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course.
4 Ways Essential Oils Can Be Used For Older Adults Living in Residential Care
Why Good Communication with Medical Staff Matters – 6 Key Contraindications
Informed Consent & Using Essential Oils with Non-Verbal and Cognitively Impaired Residents
4 Health & Safety Measures Activity Coordinators Using Essential Oils Must Know
Fee is per attendee and includes 12 months online access.
This introductory workshop can be arranged on demand at a time of your choice for you and up to 10 staff members. Please contact us via phone or email to learn more.
Our Leaflet with Information about this Course