Suncoast Hospice volunteers explore aromatherapy.

Integrative, Holistic Care

As we celebrate National Hospice and Palliative Care Month this November, we recognize how many ways there are to care for a person’s entire well-being.

When you age or live with an illness that’s chronic or advancing, comfort may be needed inside and out for your physical pain and ailments along with emotional or spiritual distress. Many people turn to conventional medicine to find relief. To improve whole wellness, a combination of medical treatment and complementary therapies can help.

Comfort from Nature

Our specially-trained volunteers and staff provide integrative medicine and palliative arts to soothe and improve life for patients in our Suncoast Hospice care, participants in our Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) care and other individuals we serve.

One of the many palliative arts modalities we offer is aromatherapy, a science-based use of essential oils extracted from plants. The aromatic essences can create comfort, energy and balance – body, mind and spirit.

Essential oils can improve how we think, feel and function, including helping our skin, muscles, sleep, sinuses, digestion, senses, arthritis, allergies, immune system, hormones, nervous system, circulation and more.

Our essential oils

We use 12 essential oils individually or in blends, including:

• Ginger
• Lavender
• Mandarin Orange
• Lemon
• Peppermint
• Roman Chamomile
• Rose Geranium
• Frankincense
• Sweet Marjoram
• Spearmint
• White Grapefruit
• Sweet Orange

Our aromatherapy is provided in recipients’ homes, long-term care facilities or our Suncoast Hospice Integrative Medicine Clinic or care centers. Thanks to recent funding from our Empath Health Women’s Giving Network, we’re able to add more aromatherapy start-up kits for our care.

“We plan to expand aromatherapy in long-term care settings, primarily in nursing homes and some assisted living facilities. Our palliative arts clinician will do training with facilities’ staff to provide aromatherapy with our hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety, agitation and more,” explained Rachelle Hutchens, our north county regional program director at Suncoast Hospice.

Bethany LeTourneau, our recreational director at Suncoast PACE, said that aromatherapy can help “improve quality of life for participants and caregivers.” She added, “It can improve cognition, particularly memory issues. It helps with pain control, depression and insomnia.”

Volunteers Needed

Interested in palliative arts? We’re always looking for new volunteers to join us. Visit our calendar to sign up for our volunteer orientation.

Share Your Story

Have a story about your loved one’s hospice care? Please share it here in honor of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.