With more doctors endorsing the health benefits of massage therapy for aging adults, there’s no better time to investigate whether it would benefit your elderly loved one, too. Massage therapy is the intentional manipulation of muscles, joints and tendons by a trained professional, designed to boost health and encourage relaxation.
Elderly adults have a higher risk of developing health problems that leave them dependent on family caregivers and elder care providers. They may be living with discomfort and chronic pain, thinking there’s nothing they can do about it. While doctors can prescribe medication to help, there are lots of non-medical options, like massage therapy, that may help, too.
If you haven’t thought about massage therapy for your aging relative, here are a few frequently asked questions.
Is Massage Therapy Safe for Seniors?
A specific form of massage therapy, known as geriatric massage, is safe for most seniors, regardless of their current health conditions. You should check with their doctor before getting your loved one an appointment with a massage therapist, but generally doctors encourage this type of treatment for their elderly patients.
Isn’t All Massage Therapy the Same?
Massage therapy specifically for seniors is slightly different in how the therapist manipulates the body and positions their clients for maximum support and comfort. Many elderly adults can’t endure massage for a long time, so sessions are often shorter. An elderly person’s skin and muscles are susceptible to tears and bruising, so the therapists use lighter pressure and different techniques to match what the senior needs.
How Does Massage Therapy Benefit Seniors?
Studies show that massage therapy can provide relief from many common conditions that aging adults suffer from. Examples include headaches, stiff joints, sluggish circulation, poor digestion, muscle cramps, insomnia, stress and chronic pain. Massages even help with mental health, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness by increasing person-to-person contact.
How Can Family Caregivers Find Massage Therapists?
Usually a doctor can recommend a clinic or therapy center that provides geriatric massages. However, family caregivers can also look online and ask other senior organizations for references. Many places like senior centers, retirement homes, aging service groups, hospitals, clinics and more will be happy to provide a referral to a massage center. Then, family caregivers just need to make arrangements with friends, family members or elder care providers to help their aging relative get to the appointments.
Family caregivers that want their aging loved one to feel healthy and well should certainly investigate massage therapy. They can plan with the massage therapist to make home visits or else family caregivers and elder care providers can transport the aging adult to the clinic. Depending on the elderly person’s health and mobility, either option can bring the benefits of massage therapy into their lives.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in East Syracuse, NY, please contact the caring staff at Serving Seniors, Inc. We specialize in offering services to the Senior Community in Syracuse and the surrounding area (Clay, Cicero, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, Central Square and others). Call us today! 315-382-4300.
Most seniors can live independent lives for quite some time with just minor assistance. Family and friends cannot always be there to help with daily tasks, but Serving Seniors can help fill the need for transportation, errands, housekeeping, and more. Just a few hours a week can enhance your senior’s independence, happiness and overall quality of life.
Joan assists concerned families seeking a trained caregiver who will treat their loved ones with dignity, respect and compassion. Serving Seniors provides the highest level in-home non-medical care and companionship. Families and seniors can be assured of friendly, personalized service from dedicated, compassionate caregivers.