There are many different types of massages, and they can have a myriad of benefits for both seniors and their caregivers. In fact, according to WebMD, there are more than 80 kinds of massage. In some cultures, massage is seen as a regular part of managing health. Weekly or semi-monthly massages are all seen to contribute to feelings of health and wellness.
Getting a massage with your senior can both improve their health and reduce your stress as a caregiver. It makes an excellent bonding exercise and something to look forward to that doesn’t require much effort.
What massages are best for seniors?
All massages are not created equal. A deep tissue massage that may be a painful but needed release of muscle tension for a younger person, but would bruise or even seriously injure a senior citizen. Skin is thinner for seniors and it’s easier to bruise thanks to age and sometimes medication complications.
Custom geriatric massages: These are gentle and target problem areas like inflamed joints. These short sessions can improve health, reduce surgical recovery time and increase well-being.
Hot stone: These massages use flat, heated stones to transmit heat deep into the body. They can even be oiled and used as part of the massage to create gentle, warm pressure.
Reflexology: This type of massage uses acupressure in points in the hands and feet believed to connect to different parts of the body. This can be an ideal massage for people who bruise easily or have difficulty lying flat for a massage.
Shiatsu massage: This massage uses pressure points along the body and can target problem areas like healed surgical sites, poor circulation and painful areas.
What are the benefits of massage?
According to Massage Today, benefits of massage include improved circulation (which is a must for those suffering from diabetes) muscle stiffness, joint pain, weakened muscles, and even chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s, arthritis, heart disease or strokes.
Additionally, massages can improve:
- Symptoms of depression
- Recovery from surgery
- Quality of sleep
What to expect from geriatric massage?
Short session: A geriatric massage shouldn’t last more than 30 minutes in most cases. Short, weekly sessions are more effective than long sessions.
Gentle hand motion: Deep tissue massage is painful for seniors. Instead, a specially trained geriatric masseuse should use open palms and gentle massaging to relax muscles without bruising tender areas.
Good communication: An ideal geriatric massage will start with a discussion of problematic areas and level of tolerance to massage. The masseuse should also discuss any medication your senior is on.
Lots of water: A massage should always be followed with increased water intake to help flush the system of any toxins and lactic released during the massage.
Massages have therapeutic benefits beyond spa days. Their ability to reduce stress, promote health and treat pain have been used for hundreds of years. As a caregiver, having a shared routine like a standing massage appointment can give you and your senior a fun and therapeutic way to spend time together.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Caregiver Services in Great Neck NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!