Elderly Parents Can Benefit From Geriatric Massage

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

February 14, 2018

Have you heard of geriatric massage? It’s a unique form of massage that is specifically designed to help elderly adults find relaxation and relief from a number of health issues.
There’s no doubt that big changes take place in an aging body, and seniors often deal with numerous aches and pains as a result. Your aging parent may also be struggling to stay away from depression and anxiety as they reach major milestones like loss of a spouse, home care, and illness. The good news is that your elderly mom or dad can really benefit from geriatric massage, and research shows that they really do work.

Home Health Care in Fox Chapel PA: Geriatric Massage
Home Health Care in Fox Chapel PA: Geriatric Massage

You might think that massages are just for the rich and famous, but therapeutic massage has proven to provide numerous health benefits for people of all ages.
Geriatric massage is just one unique method of giving massages that fit the needs of elderly clients. In order to understand exactly how massages benefit the elderly, you must understand what happens to the body when it ages.
With the natural process of aging, the body gets weaker and isn’t as efficient or robust as it once was. The need for more constant medical care increases and more chronic conditions develop. Among the more common illnesses that elderly people develop include arthritis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease and cancer. Other chronic conditions include poor digestion, insomnia, bladder problems, respiratory issues, skin sensitivity, and loss of bone and muscle mass. Seniors may be facing one or many of these physical issues. As their ability to take care of themselves diminishes, they rely on friends, family members, home care assistance programs and more.
Mentally, seniors can develop depression and anxiety, even if they haven’t dealt with these issues in their life before.
Sadly, many mental illnesses go undiagnosed in the elderly due to the stigma of mental health. Other mental and emotional issues that elderly adults deal with include loneliness, grief, anger, dementia and isolation. Many aging adults also suffer from touch hunger or diminished physical contact with other people. Scientists have discovered that seniors can suffer all kinds of physical and emotional challenges when they don’t have regular physical contact.
Geriatric massage addresses a number of these issues, providing relief and support for an elderly person’s health and wellness goals. Massages increase circulation throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients and boosting overall health. It can help with relaxing stiff muscles and joints, improving balance, digestion, and breathing. Geriatric massages can help the elderly manage chronic pain better and usher in a better night’s sleep. Because massages release pleasurable hormones like dopamine and serotonin, they experience more positive moods and less stress.
Not all massages are equal, so it’s important for family caregivers to make sure the masseuse is certified for geriatric massages.
There are some substantial differences, such as the length of time for a session, the type of pressure applied to aging limbs, restrictions for manipulating limbs and even basic positioning. A caring and experienced masseuse with certification for geriatric massage can make a real difference in your elderly mom or dad’s quality of life.

If you are considering Home Health Care in Fox Chapel, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551