Aging. It’s an inevitable process for everyone, and yet it is the one we fight hardest against. We fight our hair with dyes and we fight our skin with creams. Supplements come in every colour of the rainbow for every organ in our body. There’s magnesium for the bones and fish oil for the brain. We swap a little bacon for a little bottle at breakfast.
Here is the reality: we will all age. Try as we might, we cannot stop it, hinder it, or pretend it isn’t happening. It’s here, it’s all the time, and it’s alright. The important thing is to look after ourselves and one another as we walk the long road home.
Why is aged care important?
Aged care services are invaluable to society. The homes and villages people retire to are designed to ease them into the twilight years. Support for the elderly is important within any community. They have lived full lives and deserve the chance to rest in comfort and security. Providing our senior citizens with the services necessary to maximise their quality of life should be a priority, for this is a time where support is most needed. We will be them some day.
The other reality of aging, and the reason we run from it, is because of what it does to us. Bones develop creaks and muscles grow tired. Energy wanes, mobility is compromised and we may grow frustrated, morose or just sad. Old age does not discriminate, and we all have these things to look forward to. That’s why services have been created and are constantly being improved: aged care is an investment in everybody’s future.
How do we stay healthy when we’re old and grey?
There are all the standard responses, of course: have a good diet, do light exercise, keep your mind sharp, engage with others. We all know this. In fact, these are all things we should be doing at every stage of life. Healthy living should never be reserved for the last minute. So what out there that caters just to the elderly?
Aged care massage is an invaluable service. Not only does massage provide physical relief from the aches and pains we all associate with growing old, but it also improves mental health. As a specialised form of massage therapy, aged care massage or geriatric massage is designed to address and alleviate the problems we face as we get old. stiff joints, tight muscles, atrophy, decreased mobility, oedema – and so the list goes on. Typical age-related issues involve:
- Stiff joints
- Tight or weak muscles
- Atrophy and frailty
- Decreased mobility
- Oedema and lymphodema
The impacts of these ailments on quality of life range from minor, to debilitating.
What are the physical benefits of aged care massage?
If you’ve been here before, you already the benefits of massage. The benefits of a holistic physical therapy like massage don’t stop when we reach middle-age. In fact, massage becomes even more valuable. Bodies that were once nimble and strong have to contend with the pitfalls of age. Old injuries that were just bad memories rear their ugly heads. The major muscles and joints in the body such as in the back, neck, shoulders, knees and hips are especially at risk.
Aged care massage can help to strengthen these regions of the body by improving circulation, increasing mobility and flexibility, and naturally lubricating joints. By employing varying pressure, smooth strokes and gentle kneading, a remedial aged care massage can present its effects within a day. A massage is equal parts instant relief and long-term treatment, aiding in the overall health of the body.
What does aging do to mental health?
A study from Beyond Blue found that older people are more vulnerable to mental health issues, with 10-15% of older people experiencing depression. This is due to a number of contributing factors. For one thing, older people frequent funerals. Living with this shadow is a constant reminder of what is waiting, and it can be an awful reality for many. Older people are also prone to experiencing loneliness, which often correlates to the previous point. There is also physical deterioration to content with alongside the realisation that our bodies no longer work as well as they use to.
Many elderly people struggle with accepting help when they need it most, such as with caring for themselves or mobility issues. The response to unwanted aid in the face of pride is often resentment. Fear also becomes a growing burden for many elderly people. Fear of being alone, of falling, of becoming incapacitated or indisposed, or a combined fear of all of these. Living in fear is a debilitating condition in and of itself. Mental health should always be on a level playing field with physical health; the two have an intrinsic and often codependent relationship.
What are the mental benefits of aged care massage?
Mental health is increasingly being brought into the forefront of general health discussions. This is fantastic because mental health is a huge component of wellbeing and quality of life. Mental health affects physical health, so both sides of the coin must be polished every day. We’ve mentioned that massage reduces stress in previous posts before, but there is so much more to gain from an aged care massage than finding calm.
Massage therapy utilises touch, our most intimate and important sense. Touch often provides comfort where nothing else can. No words are required when touch is involved – it is a unique form of communication. Massage is special in this way, providing a compassionate hand where it is most needed. As well as being relaxing and stress-relieving, massage fosters a connection that creates empathy, comfort and understanding. This connection provides something positive, something looked forward to, with the added bonus of being physically beneficial.
How does aged care massage work?
Geriatric massage is a specialised therapy that is only performed by trained therapists who are experienced within this demographic. Blys provides aged care massage services on-site. Our trained and trusted therapists bring all their own equipment right to the door, so there’s no stress or struggle involved.
Every massage is adapted to suit the requirements and needs of each client, including mobility issues and health conditions. The massage is performed on the table or in the client’s bed, chair, or wherever they are most comfortable. Your Blys therapist will take the time to consult each client to fully grasp their individual situation and needs. This consultation takes precedence.
An aged care massage provides relief and respite from the symptoms of chronic pain and illness, including in palliative care and hospice settings. For any additional questions, head to the FAQ section of our Aged Care Massage service page, or contact our friendly team. The twilight years should be a time of remembrance and celebration. Surround yourself and your loved ones with a support network that nurtures compassion and positivity.