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Posted by: Helen Albea, 14 Feb 2017 11:17PM
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Massage in a nursing home

Hi, I have been approached to do some work in a nursing home, providing massage to elderly residents. It will be on a self employed basis where the residents pay me directly. They want me to give a price of what I would charge but as I have not worked in this capacity before I am not sure what is appropriate to charge? I have worked with similar clients before but as a paid employee through charitable funding. Just wondering if anyone has some advice or experience in this field to share? Thanks


Rosemary Pharo
15 Feb 2017 10:54AM

Hi Helen Will they be paying you, or is it their relatives? I'm presuming you will have to enter details of all treatments on the home's Care Management System to meet CQC requirements. Will they be looking for something on a weekly basis so there is commitment, or a 'turn up and see what happens?'. What is the payment mechanism they will use? How much of your time will this take? How far do you have to travel? Thanks Rosemary
Helen Albea
15 Feb 2017 11:16AM

Hi Rosemary, thanks for your reply. Its only preliminary talks at the moment so I don't have all the facts, that's why it is tricky! As they are saying name a price and we can discuss it further/put it to management. As far as I know the residents have their own money but the home manages it. They pay for extra services not provided by the home such as hairdressing and physiotherapy and massage would work in a similar way. They would advertise internally and book appointments in for me if I gave them a regular day a week I can work. There are 56 residents so I would think the service would be fairly busy and I won't need to charge too high a price. However my travel would cost £30 due to the location so I need to factor that in. I can't really afford to do it for a super low fee as I am starting out in full time self employment now having been spoiled by working in the NHS as a therapist for years and having this all worked out for me! So just wondering what an acceptable charge would be in such a situation. Any thoughts welcome. Thanks.
Alison Baillie
16 Feb 2017 8:15PM

I used to do this, what happened was I would turn up on the agreed day the staff would have a list for me and I would check with the residents that they still wanted to have a treatment. I would work with each resident for 30 mins and some got huge benefit from it, at the time I charged £10 per 30 mins. I would hand in the list of residents who took part, fill in the required forms and the management would then organise payment with the resident or residents representative and then then management would pay me. There are a couple of drawbacks to this, you can not guarantee commitment as the resident may say yes then change their minds when you arrive, some residents may be sick and unable to be available for you when you arrive and it worked well until a change of management then things started to go wrong.
Helen Albea
17 Feb 2017 10:41AM

Thanks Allison. That's really useful. Yes I have had similar experience with providing massage in a palliative care unit and often appointments needed to be cancelled or changed last minute. Important to consider.
Rosemary Pharo
17 Feb 2017 11:14AM

I agree that management's attitude is crucial. My contract at a dementia care home is directly with the client's families who I invoice and then pay me on e.g. a monthly basis. I offer a flexible variety of therapies, e.g. both Reiki and aroma/massage which means that treatment can be adapted to the needs of the patient. IE if they are under the weather I can use Reiki to support their health where massage/aroma would be contraindicated and particularly useful for mood, energy levels etc.
Helen Albea
17 Feb 2017 12:43PM

What duration of treatments do you offer Rosemary and how long do you put in between appointments? I think 30 mins treatment is the most appropriate time to offer but I know from my previous work that if you are seeing this type of client, the amount of time you end up spending with them is much longer - to account for discussion of how they are, time for them to mobilise or position correctly etc. I had flexibility in my previous job as I was paid for a whole day and saw people as and when I could around their medical care, without appointments so this is a new way of working to get used to, hence all my questions! Its a new service for them too so I am having to outline all this in my proposal.
Stefania De Cara
21 Sep 2017 3:07PM

Hi Helen, How did it go? I am thinking of offering this service in my area. Thanks, Stefania
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