When my grandmother made the choice to move to a senior care facility, there was a sigh of relief in the family. She was 83 years old and we worried about her forgetting to take medications and putting herself at a higher risk of falling.
The senior care facility she moved to was wonderful. The staff was warm and caring. The facility was modern and beautiful. And there were even a few ‘house cats’ that roamed the hall, keeping the place homey.
Something else I remember about that senior care facility: it always smelled nice.
And I know that’s not always the case.
I’d been in other facilities that reeked of scents I won’t mention. I couldn’t wait to leave those and never wanted to go back.
New Technology Disperses Ambient Scent
The transition from home to a senior care facility is hard enough without having negative experiences. And there can be many of those – some that can’t be helped and others that can be avoided.
With a new cold-infusion aroma machine, senior care facility owners and managers now have the power to create a more inviting atmosphere for their residents, guests and staff.
These state-of-the-art systems atomize essential oils, converting them into invisible molecules and dispersing them throughout the facility. Specific essential oils are chosen to achieve certain effects. For example, lavender relaxes, citrus energizes, and cinnamon promotes focus and a sense of purpose. And those are just three examples. There are thousands more.
If your senior care facility has not yet introduced an aroma machine into the environment – or if you’re using the older less effective methods of candles or wall-mounted dispensers – here are five reasons why you should scent your senior care facility with a cold-infusion aroma machine.
Reason #1: Scent improves perception
Did you know that you have 15 seconds to create a winning first impression when seniors and their family members enter your senior care facility for the first time? Marketing studies have proven that the first 15 seconds of a shopper’s experience set the tone for their overall perception.
A pleasant and inviting scent can create a powerful first impression that paves the way for a promising interaction with facility administration and staff. An unpleasant scent can move the conversation to a downward spiral. The last thing you want is an unwelcome odor sending potential residents down the road to a facility that does nothing more than smell better.
Reason #2: Scent improves the interior
If your senior care facility needs a cosmetic lift and your budget is limited, try scenting. It offers a more economical update than fresh paint and new decor.
Some scents can even influence how a room’s size is perceived. For example, light scents such as green apple, cucumber, aloe vera or citrus have been proven to make spaces feel larger and more open while spicy, woodsy or sweet scents can have the opposite affect.
Reason #3: Scent enhances mood and helps control physical challenges
Due to the inherent factors of aging, senior care facility residents often experience negative emotions such as anxiety and agitation as well as physical challenges such as poor appetite, memory loss, and insomnia. Scent can serve to function as a sort of ongoing ‘clinical aromatherapy’, helping to calm residents, encourage healthy behaviors and even recall pleasant memories.
For example, while recent memory may be impaired in Alzheimer residents, a specific scent may bring back memories of events and emotions locked away for years. These scents can range from baked goods and barbeque to flowers and fresh air.
Can you imagine the joy an Alzheimer patient might feel sharing a favorite memory with a family member just because he or she experienced a scent from bygone days?
Reason #4: Scent motivates staff
Studies prove that certain scents have the power to lift staff morale and keep them motivated. In fact, some healthcare facilities have seen a marked reduction in levels of stress – from 40 percent of staff feeling stressed to only three percent feeling stressed – after introducing citrus scents into their workplace environments.
Other scents such as cinnamon promote alertness and focus, while peppermint is associated with increased performance.
Scent: A Powerful Tool
If you’re not yet using the powerful tool of an aroma machine in your senior care facility, how do you get started?
First, take some time to consider these questions:
- Who is your target demographic? Think age and geographical location.
- What responses would you like to achieve with scent?
- What types of location(s) are you going to scent: the lobby and halls, soiled utility rooms, staff areas or all of them?
Answers to these questions will put you on the right path to boosting buyer perception, improving your facility’s interior, motivating your staff, enhancing resident mood and helping control physical challenges.
Aroma for Senior Care Facilities.