Massage Therapy Can Benefit Dementia Sufferers
Massage therapy for those with dementia has some proven efficacy. It can help in many ways. Touch is a need we all have and elderly people with dementia can suffer from a lack of it. Also, elderly people get less sleep, which can be a burden but, massage can help with this. It can help soothe away anxiety which is a proven issue with sufferers. Pain in older age is a common problem and there is lots of evidence massage can help with this too. Of course, the other thing is building trust in relationships which can be hard as you get on in years. A professional therapist knows how to help by building good rapport. Massage for elderly people can benefit those with Alzheimer’s disease and other issues related to getting older. We all need to feel good, and a massage therapist’s professional touch is great at doing that.
Making a Difference With Massage
As a young massage therapist, I never thought my work would make a difference to the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s. In fact, it wasn’t until I started working at an elder people’s care facility in York that I saw the many positive effects my professional touch could have. If you or someone you care about has dementia, I am happy to help. Please feel free to contact me for personalized treatment. I am happy to work with chaperones present if required. I really can empathize as I saw first-hand the way dementia could rob patients of their memory, sense of self, sense of dignity, and connection to the world around them. However, massage was a counterbalance to all this. After a treatment, I saw the joy and stress relief massage it brought to my clients. It worked some wonders.
Problems With Sleep & Anxiety
I remembered one Client, Roger. I first met him in his younger years and thus really noticed the great changes dementia was having on him. He had trouble sleeping at night due to anxiety. I started to give Roger massages in the late afternoon, before bed. I was using only gentle, relaxing techniques to calm his nervous system so as to soothe him into slumber later. After a few appointments, Roger began sleeping much better. He also reported feeling more at ease and generally relaxed during the day
Good Alternative to Medication for Older People With Aches and Pains
I also saw how massages helped alleviate muscular pain and joint stiffness in other older clients. I have worked with many elderly people who had arthritis and other age-related conditions. Massages did seem to help reduce their discomfort, increase their mobility, and improve their overall quality of life. An improvement in well-being is a boon for anyone at any age but, it is especially good for us as we get older.
Trusting Relationships & Touch Can Benefit People
All in all, my greatest satisfaction came from building relationships of trust with older clients. I know that many of them were of a generation where touch was almost taboo. Yet my gentle soothing strokes were one of the only connections they had with the outside world. I always made sure to take time with each client. I would listen to their stories and concerns and offer a gentle presence of comfort and care. In Roger’s case, I would also guide him toward finding his own solutions to some of his problems by looking at them from another perspective.
I am always grateful for the opportunity to use my skills to improve the lives of those with dementia. I feel my work wasn’t just about making patients feel good; it was about affirming their humanity, worth, and dignity even in the face of memory loss and other age-related illnesses. It always brings me an uplift to know I am doing someone some real good in the here and now that can last a while.
If you or someone you care about has dementia, feel free to contact me, Kevin for personalized treatment. 07970 814388 I am happy to work with chaperones present if required.
Hansen N et al (2006) Manual massage for persons living with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis [online] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020748918302724
Orr R & Kapoor Y (2016) Effect of therapeutic massage on pain in patients with dementia [online] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1471301215583391?journalCode=dema