This week is assisted living week, which got us thinking about elderly, aging, and massage therapy
The typical assisted living resident is a woman about 87 years old, who requires assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. More than likely, she requires assistance because she is also one of the 4 in 5 (80%) of elderly people battling at least one chronic condition.
Top Ten Chronic Conditions of Assisted Living Residents:
- High Blood Pressure: 57%
- Alzheimer's disease and other dementia: 42%
- Heart Disease: 34%
- Depression: 28%
- Arthritis: 27%
- Osteoporosis: 21%
- Diabetes: 17%
- COPD and allied conditions: 15%
- Cancer: 11%
- Stroke: 11%
Massage therapy can help with many of the issues faced by seniors in assisted living facilities. Research has shown that massage therapy can aid in pain relief, including post-operative pain. Massage therapy has also been proven to improve sleep in those who are hospitalized or institutionalized. Massage therapy can also improve the quality of life for those in hospice and palliative care. Recently published studies confirm that massage therapy is becoming the most frequently offered complementary therapy in hospice and palliative care settings.
Massage therapy has been proven a safe and effective alternative for many of the conditions that affect that quality of life for elderly today. For more information about all of the benefits massage has to offer, visit here.
National Center for Assisted Living
Massage Therapy Benefits Alzheimer's Patients
Rowe, M. & Alfred, D. (1999). The effectiveness of slow-stroke massage in diffusing agitated behaviors in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Gerontology and Nursing, 25, 22-34.
Massage Therapy for Improvements in Balance, Neurological, and Cardiovascular Measures in Older Adults
Sefton, J. M., Yarar, C., & Berry, J. W. (2012). Six weeks of massage therapy produces changes in balance, neurological, and cardiovascular measures in older adults. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, 5 (3), 28-40