This is a topic that doesn’t get a lot of discussion. Many Therapist feel over whelmed with the possibility of multiple ailments to consider. This is a fact that won’t change but we can look at it from a different perspective.
The age range of the elderly being 65 and over grew from 3 million in 1900 to 33 million as of 1994. If that doesn’t seem like a large jump you can think of it this way, at that rate of growth the elderly population will go from 1 in every 8 Americans who are elderly as of 1994 to 1 in 5 by 2030.
With advances in disease prevention and health care we could see an even bigger rise than the one predicted according to these studies by the Census Bureau.
Keeping that in mind it could be an excellent opportunity to start an age specific practice that offers special care for some of our most delicate citizens.
I have written before on the power of touch and what it can do for the body and the mind.
I have spoken to a lot of massage therapist and a few non-massage therapist’s and found that the biggest fear of geriatric massage is illness. As Massage Therapist we must always adjust the massage to our clients stamina and health profile.
We can stay educated on ailment’s we may face in this part of the field and we can also allow our clients to educate us. They will know their own health history and how they must treat their body, we just need to ask the right questions.
My first question for someone over 65 is this, ” Have you ever had a massage before?” This tells us that they have experience with massage and it’s benefits.
We can also ask if they have ever had reason in the past for not receiving a massage.
Knowing those two things can help get the ball rolling. Creating a rapport with the elderly client can make their massage experience healing and serene. This is a generation that has experienced things we can only read about now. Staying sensitive to that can help.
This post is more of an encouragement to those who want to serve this generation with their gifted hands but may still have reservations and those of us who applaud the efforts of those who serve our parent’s and grandparent’s in this way.
Doing our home work can make this field quite fun. I find that the older generation has something valuable to give and if we listen carefully we can hear it.
” Choose each day to be Blissful and complete , a whole person well cared for by you. “