If you’re looking to bring joy and comfort to an elderly friend or family member in your life, a geriatric massage might be just what the doctor ordered!
A geriatric massage is an especially therapeutic type of massage that takes into account the uniqueness of an aging body. Massage therapy can be extremely helpful for many different ailments and chronic pain associated with age-related diseases, such as arthritis and lower back pain.
It’s also been shown to improve mental health by releasing feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins.
So when you’re tired of hearing your aging loved one complain about aches and pains, it might be time to book them a massage. But what should you expect when scheduling your elderly loved one for a therapeutic massage?
What You'll Learn...
Geriatric Massage Definition
A geriatric massage is an especially therapeutic type of massage that takes into account the uniqueness of an aging body. Massage therapy can be super helpful to elderly people for many different ailments associated with aging, such as arthritis and low back pain. It’s also been shown to improve mental health by releasing feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins.
Main Benefits of Geriatric Massage?
This treatment promotes relaxation, relief of stress, and lower blood pressure. Geriatric massage also treats pain, improves blood circulation, boosts the immune system, and helps delay or prevent cancerous tumors. As well as addressing sore muscles and reducing inflammation, it may even reduce swelling around the joints that could affect mobility later in life.
Geriatric massages are not only effective at decreasing the risk of falls and overall health, but they also improve mood and well-being to a greater degree than many other common treatments. If you’re looking for a way to positively impact your elderly patients’ quality of life, this is one of the best options.
Types of Geriatric Massages
There are many different types of geriatric massages that can be used to address the specific needs of the elderly population, such as pain management or mobility improvement. Here are a few common massage treatments for elderly clients…but they’re also just as beneficial to people of all ages!
Hydrotherapy is a type of massage which uses water-based techniques to relax and hydrate the body. It can be used on those who are in a wheelchair, or even just to aid in the healing process. It is very versatile in that it can be used as a warm-up to other types of massage, and that it can also be done alone.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is designed to alleviate chronic pain and restore function to tight and brittle muscles. It’s a specialty massage practice that’s great for the elderly because it specifically focuses on the muscular system and the connective tissue (fascia) surrounding each muscle using gentle massaging of the hands.
When fascia becomes restricted or has lost elasticity, muscles tend to become shortened and stiff, which can impact mobility and cause pain.
Many seniors with Parkinson’s Disease have found relief from their aches and pains with this type of massage therapy.
A geriatric Swedish massage is intended to help older people get back in shape and relieve their joint pain. This type of massage gives special attention to senior citizens and their joints. There are many benefits to getting this therapy, including easing joint stiffness, relieving muscle tension, improving poor circulation, and restoring joint mobility.
A Swedish Massage treatment also helps keep your skin healthy by reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging.
How to Find a Geriatric Massage Therapist
If you’re looking for a geriatric licensed massage therapist, the internet is your friend. There are many websites that will help you find one. One great option is Massage Therapy Finder, which allows users to sort their results by city, state, or zip code in the United States.
You can also find a geriatric massage therapist at your local senior center. The centers often use therapists who have received training at certified schools for massage therapy.
Does Medicare Cover Geriatric Massage?
As a geriatric massage falls under the category of alternative treatment, Medicare plans A and B will not cover the cost and you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. However, in some instances, Medicare C plans will cover a geriatric massage, so you should check your plan and see if you qualify.
What is the Biggest Safety Issue for Elderly Clients Receiving Massages?
The biggest safety issue for elderly patients receiving a massage is the buildup of pressure. The body can be easily injured by too much force being applied to it by a therapist. Pressure points in the joints and underlying muscles can cause soreness, increased pain, swelling, and muscle injury.