Geriatric Massage offers numerous benefits to our senior citizens who can greatly help to improve their health and well-being. Massage for elderly citizens is simply that, massage for the elderly, but its application is certainly different to massage for the younger population and the massage therapist needs to be knowledgeable of the physiological changes that occur in the ageing body. Massage techniques are different, pressure applied is certainly different and there must be great sensitivity shown to the receiver’s feedback to ensure the massage is comfortable as well as effective.
Geriatric Massage doesn't differ much in technique compared to massage for regular adults. However the techniques used must keep in mind that an aging body requires a little extra tender loving care. Specially trained geriatric massage therapists are aware that an elderly body must be positioned carefully, compared to a healthy 30-year-old body. Great care is taken in the positioning of an elderly client.
Geriatric Massage sessions will typically range from 30-mintues to an hour. However, when mobility is an issue, for example, if the client is bound to a wheelchair, the massage therapist will administer the treatment to the client right in their chair. Some of our treatments take place with the client bed bound. In this case the therapist adjusts in the administration of the treatment.
Geriatric massage practitioners will often spend more time on the hands and feet of their clients - especially if the client doesn’t walk or doesn’t have full use of their hands. In cases such as these, a hand or foot massage can enhance body awareness, sensation and circulation in certain parts of an aging body. Massage is extremely beneficial to a diabetic patient focusing on the lower limbs to aid in circulation. While there are many healthy seniors, many also suffer from a variety of conditions associated with aging. Geriatric massage can be used to lessen the effects of these conditions increasing quality of life.
The benefits of geriatric massage are numerous. Massage does the usual for seniors by encouraging circulation, decreasing muscular stiffness, and helping to decrease inflammation that may rest in the joints. However, it also treats so many of the typical conditions that arise with age - such as contractures (a shortening of the muscle tissue), arthritis, strokes, diabetes, muscle and bone deterioration, tendonitis, bursitis, and respiratory problems.
Furthermore, the benefits of enjoying the simple pleasure of human touch and company for just a brief period of time is priceless for many lonely and depressed seniors. Careful massage can help provide the elderly with symptomatic relief and enable seniors to extend the vitality in their lives.
Massage therapy can also help treat conditions associated with aging, such as:
Seniors who live in nursing or retirement homes tend to be touch deprived. Massage can help counter the effects of touch deprivation. Seniors who live in institutions also tend to be physically and verbally agitated because they can no longer care for themselves.
When institutionalized seniors are given hand massages they show fewer signs of agitation. Back massages increases the calming affects even more.
Treatments range from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon what the client or families desire to focus on. A 15 minute treatment is usually for relaxation and would benefit someone who has minimal pain and some stiffness. A 30 minute massage focuses on a few different areas of pain and stiffness, also helping with increased circulation. Longer treatments are beneficial for clients with larger areas of chronic pain and prolonged conditions of concern. These treatments are performed in the privacy of the resident’s room while being fully clothed. Dry massage with minimal oil is standard at this stage of life, as they are fragile and need a specific method to ensure their well-being. The simple comfort that human contact conveys is a cherished occasion that most seniors anticipate at this season of life.
You should not get a massage if you have these conditions: