The elderly population is very dear to my heart and I work diligently to get the word out about how beneficial massage is for them. I have seen first hand the impact that touch can have on an elderly person. Their eyes light up and many begin to open up and talk and laugh. All I may be doing is massaging their hands or feet, lightly massaging their shoulders and arms or gently rubbing their back. Touch is powerful! Massage just simply makes them feel better.
Elderly people can really benefit from regular massage as it’s such an enjoyable and relaxing, non-invasive way to help manage the inevitable symptoms that go hand in hand with getting older. Most of us enjoy a massage to help us ease our tension and soothe away aches and pains. There’s no doubt that a regular massage has the potential to help improve your quality of life, and this applies to elderly people who may sit for hours in a wheelchair or hours lying in a bed.
The Effects of Massage on Older People: The positive effects of massage on the health of elderly people are well documented by research. It’s been proven that the gentlest of massages can benefit the circulation and nervous system. Geriatric gentle massage is known to help stimulate the circulation naturally and without causing any discomfort so many older people are happy to give themselves over to the hands of an expert massage therapist when they are feeling tense and in need of healing touch.
One important benefit of massage: It doesn’t have any side effects and won’t interact with medications that the elderly person is taking for conditions that often affect them (diabetes, depression, Parkinson’s, dementia and other common conditions.) In some cases, physicians have been able to reduce regular medications because of regular massage sessions.
Helping counteract the signs of old age: Elderly people often suffer from symptoms caused by conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This can often leave them with limited mobility and poor circulation. On top of this, many elderly people can report feeling depressed or even lonely. Geriatric massage can help boost their physical health, but also relieve the depression and anxiety that sometimes goes with it. It also gives older people access to comforting touch. There is even evidence that degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s have responded to regular half hour massages. I have witnessed this firsthand.
Massage for the elderly can:
How is a geriatric massage different? Geriatric massage uses some of the same techniques you’ll find in general massage but tailored to the specific needs of elderly people.
What can you do? Join with friends or family members (to help share in the cost) and treat your loved one(s) to a session(s) and put a BIG smile on their face. Give them a wonderful time to look forward to weekly or bi-monthly. Priceless!
They can receive their massage while lying on their bed or sitting/reclining in their favorite chair. They can stay dressed or undress (whichever they are comfortable with and can manage on their own with light assistance). Usually a 45 min session is all they need (this includes preparing them for the massage and maximum 30 min hands on). I travel to their home or facility so there is not any added stress on them from traveling (small travel fee.)