Aches, pains, stress, and illness are all things that seniors often encounter as they age. While traditional medicine can help with many of these problems, there are other options available that can further improve quality of life for older adults. One of those things is massage therapy.
Massage is Different for the Elderly
If you picture a comedic scene from a movie in which a massage therapist delivers a nearly brutal massage, you’re probably not alone. However, massage therapists who are trained to work with seniors use much gentler methods. Geriatric massage usually uses shorter sessions, about 30 minutes, because seniors may not be able to tolerate longer sessions. The hand movements used to deliver the massage are softer and designed to improve circulation while relaxing muscles and relieving stress. The therapist may also work on the senior’s flexibility by working on stretching joints, muscles, and soft tissue.
Benefits of Massage for the Elderly.
Massage can help elderly people who suffer from a variety of age-related problems. Some of the benefits of massage therapy include:
- Better Sleep: Older adults who have regular massages may sleep more deeply and for more hours during the night. Sleep is when the body repairs itself, so it is essential to overall health.
- Better Balance and Posture: Studies have shown that seniors who have regular massages have improved posture, which leads to better balance and less risk of falling.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Though more research is needed, some studies have indicated that massage helps to lower blood pressure in people who have slightly elevated blood pressure.
- Improved Mental Health: Massage helps to alleviate stress. It also improves symptoms of depression, loneliness, and anxiety.
- Reduces Agitation in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients: For seniors with Alzheimer’s, research shows that massage that involves slow strokes reduces agitation. It can also help with aggressive behaviors.
- Better Mobility: Patients who have lost mobility due to arthritis, Parkinson’s, or other age-related conditions may recover some of their mobility with regular massage.
If you’d like to see if massage can benefit your senior parent, but aren’t able to take your parent to massage appointments, an elderly care provider can drive your parent to see their massage therapist. The elderly care provider can stay with your parent during their massage appointment if they feel safer having someone they know with them. Elderly care providers can also ensure that your parent is able to safely enter and exit the massage therapy office if they struggle with mobility issues.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Skokie, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.