The demand for geriatric massage is on the rise. As massage becomes more mainstream people of all ages are turning to it as a regular part of their healthcare routine. In addition, as the baby boomer generation ages, you may begin to see an increase in elderly patients. As the body ages, it effects all systems, so it is important to be equipped with the knowledge and special considerations that need to be made in order to effectively provide massage for your elderly clients.
It’s important to know how active your elderly clients are on a regular basis and for how long they have been active. Of course, people who exercise regularly and have maintained a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives are going to be healthier and will be able to easily receive an hour long massage. However, if a client comes to you and has only recently become more active, they may be experiencing aches and pains already, which may have been the catalyst for taking on an exercise routine n the first place. A trained massage therapist will need to understand that this client may only require a half hour massage.
Also, it’s important to remember that as people age their skin becomes thinner. Therefore, a massage therapist will need to reduce the amount of pressure to avoid bruising. Also, bones become thinner and people may have had joints replaced.
All of these things will need to be considered when giving a massage to an older client. It might be beneficial to seek out continuing education opportunities in order to increase your knowledge and experience when working with the elderly.