working with the elderly

Touch is very healing, especially for older people who just need lighter touch and shorter massages.  They often feel lonely, and have chronic pain and discomfort.  Massaging older people’s shoulders, neck, arms, wrists, hands and fingers can be quite beneficial physically for their blood and lymph circulation, and emotionally by feeling cared for.  Though it is a short length massage, it can be quite helpful.  One resident told me the other day while I was helping her stand up to reach her walker: “I still feel your hands on my shoulders, and I feel nice tingling movements in my arm like they are alive.” 

My favorite client is a 108 years young lady. She is always cheerful and positive.  She is always the first one to sign up for the massages. She is so sharp and tells all residents they should try the massages and see how good they will feel afterwards.  She never complains about her health, she has followed a vegan diet for a long time, and used to plant her own vegetables.  I want to be as cheerful and strong as she is when I will reach an older age.  I asked her once at the beginning of the massage how is she doing.  She said, “I am great, but I worry about my 90 year old daughter.”

I thought that was sweet and interesting.  We are always young in our parent’s mind and eyes no matter how old they are and we are.   She is really my hero. I love this woman, and she teaches me a lot.

One reseident had signed up that day to come for a massage, but could not make it because she felt dizzy and nauseated.  I was asked if I would be willing to work on her while she lied down in her bed. I did.  She started feeling better after just ten minutes of massaging gently her hands and arms, and pressing on some meridian points in these areas. 

I am always amazed how older people react fast and find relief within a few minutes of working on their shoulders and arms.

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