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Posted by: Gill Kenny, 6 Nov 2014 11:17PM
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Massage - Ederly patients and the benefits of massage

My name is Gill I am a massage therapist with the elderly. I would like to share the benefits that massage can help with patients who sadly suffer with the horrible illness of dementia. I would like to connect with other massage therapist where massage has help any of your own clients who have had this horrible illness and the benefits of massage has given them. Regard Gill


Linda Morrissey
6 Nov 2014 11:25PM

Gill - what benefits have you found that massage has provided so far ? Are you using essential oils or just a carrier oil ? Do you spend time with your elderly clients longer than the massage time ? Do you spend time talking to them too ? I haven't provided massagagw myself for anyone with dementia Linda
Mike Colquhoun
7 Nov 2014 12:20AM

Hi Gill Just a word of caution, unfortunately a side effect of this horrible condition is that lovely people become suspicious and unpredictable. Lifelong inhibitions can disappear, false accusations can be made: for both your sakes a suitable adult should always be present to give permissions and witness events. The calming and relaxing effects of massage can be very beneficial though. http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=134 gives a pretty unbiased assessment. Yours aye Mike
Amanda Clegg
7 Nov 2014 12:53AM

I completely agree with you, MIke. In fact I think that unless you are directly employed by the care home, and have the relevant security clearance, you should not be left alone with a client. I have found that it can take quite a while to build trust, and that trust and co-operation will vary from day to day. You might be best working on hands/arms or heads and shoulders in a day room or similar where the staff are present. I had a client being looked after at home - I would visit to massage both him and his wife, and sometimes I could give him a really good massage, or other times he wouldn't keep still, or didn't want a limb or head touched (he had parkinsons with dementia, and has recently passed away). When I could give a good massage, he always enjoyed it, and his wife reported that any tremors would be less and he would always have a really good night's sleep, so well worth it. Just a bit frustrating and sometimes financially difficult as I always found it hard to charge for time spent but not effectively (though they were always very good about the bill (his widow is still a client). Definitely worthwhile offering your services, but don't be disheartened if it doesn't work out! There are plenty of other elderly people in dire need of massage who would benefit hugely - I have a large client base in this age group, with conditions ranging from MS, Motor Neurone and Parkinsons, to simple arthritis and general geriatric aches. Don't forget their spouses as well - carers get a rough deal! If they are in receipt of a GP-held respite fund, and you invoice, they should be able to pay you from that money. Good luck, and keep up the good work.
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