Aging is not exactly easy. Our bodies slow down and we develop conditions such as arthritis, which give us joint pain and stiffness. As we age we tend to live more sedentary lifestyles, placing even more pressure on our joints and bones. Pain is also a common symptom for people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As the diseases progress, it becomes difficult for affected individuals to communicate their needs and concerns.
Fortunately, there are health care services available to ease the aging process and to aid those affected by Dementia, you can check out Family Assets for more information on this. An effective method to treat pain in Seniors, particularly those diagnosed with Dementia, is massage therapy. Regular massage therapy provides numerous benefits to Seniors and isn’t limited to alleviating physical pain. The therapeutic touch of a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can help to reduce stress and anxiety through increased relaxation and should be a key component of any Senior’s health care plan.
RMTs can even come directly to wherever patients live. Please visit Integracare to learn more about the benefits of at-home healthcare and in the meantime, read why massage therapy is crucial to pain and stress reduction in Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
What is Stress?
At its core, stress is the body’s natural reaction to stimuli or stressors that disturb our mental or physical equilibrium. It is also known as our ‘fight or flight’ response. Seniors experience a great deal of stress because of physical body pains and the emotional turmoil of living with life-threatening diseases and other debilitating conditions.
Regular massage therapy has been proven to heighten relaxation by increasing blood flow to the body’s limbs and supporting the immune and nervous systems, reducing these natural reactions to upsetting situations.
For patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, massage therapy reduces anxiety and increases alertness.
Massage Therapy Produces Feelings of Comfort and Care
In addition to lessening physical pain in joints and limbs, regular massage therapy has tremendous emotional benefits. The therapeutic touch of a professional RMT creates connections and feelings of compassion for patients.
Many Seniors lack physical contact due to the loss of loved ones or a partner. The gentle massage touch helps them to feel relaxed and less lonely.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients often find it difficult to communicate how they’re feeling. Massage therapy eases the feelings of loneliness, isolation, and boredom.
The Benefits of a Hand Massage
Since touching hands is such a familiar feeling for all of us, hand massage may be gladly welcomed by Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Studies have shown that even five minutes of hand massage has elicited physiological relaxation response and decreased cortisol levels (a hormone released during stress and used as an objective marker of its presence).
A five- or ten-minute hand massage for Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients may also result in:
- Significantly decreased agitation
- Decreased intensity and frequency of agitated behavior during morning care routines
Consider adding massage therapy to your loved one’s healthcare plan. It will do more than just alleviate muscle and joint pain. It provides compassionate care through the healing power of touch.