Although most of us think of a massage as a treat when we really need to unwind, regular massage sessions can actually improve senior health and wellness. Aside from being a relaxing experience, read on for six ways your elderly loved one can benefit from massage.
1. Improved symptoms of osteoarthritis
Massage therapy is a common form of treatment for older people with OA. A recent study compared the effects of eight weeks of massage therapy for people with OA against people who did not receive massage therapy. This study found that people who got regular massages had pain improve by 23 points over their baseline, while stiffness improved by 21 points and physical disability improved by more than 20 points.
2. Reduced agitation in seniors with Alzheimer’s
Massage therapy has been used for decades to ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s. A 1995 study found that therapeutic massage can be used to reduce agitation in dementia patients, particularly physical expressions like resisting and pacing.
3. Reduced stiffness and joint pain
Most elderly people experience some amount of joint and muscle stiffness, especially after vigorous activity. Massage therapy for the elderly uses gentle techniques to mobilize the joints and muscles while reducing inflammation. This can gradually improve range of motion.
4. Improved circulation
Jefferson County senior home care experts agree that one of the greatest benefits of massage for seniors is its ability to improve circulation. Seniors are more susceptible to circulatory problems, particularly diabetics, and regular massage and exercise can prevent complications of diabetes.
5. Improved emotional wellbeing
A 2010 study found that seniors who receive massage therapy score better in terms of emotional wellbeing. Massage can reduce feelings of depression and stress, and it can also give seniors a way to connect and enjoy a sense of companionship with their massage therapist.
6. Improved sleep
Seniors who receive regular massages typically report deeper, longer sleep. This is important because it’s during sleep that the body repairs and regenerates, and good quality sleep improves overall wellbeing.
For more information on promoting senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Jefferson County, helping seniors maintain a high quality of life while remaining in the comfort of home is one of our top priorities. Our caregivers are compassionate and experienced, our Care Managers are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we never require long-term contracts. To learn more, call (303) 987-5992 and request a free in-home consultation.