Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2018

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Comfort Touch—www.comforttouch.com Compassionate Touch— www.compassionate-touch.org Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute—www.daybreak-massage.com Everflowing—www.everflowing.org From the Heart Through the Hands—www.fromtheheartthroughthehands.com Healwell—www.healwell.org Oncology Massage Education Associates—www.oncologymassageeducationassociates.com The Heart Touch Project—www.hearttouch.org Tracy Walton & Associates—www.tracywalton.com STICK YOUR TOE IN THE WATER If you think working with frail elders is something you might be interested in, I suggest you try volunteering at a skilled nursing or assisted-living facility. Assisted living and skilled nursing are vastly different. In skilled nursing, the residents need much more care; most, but not all, are in wheelchairs or may be bed- bound and require 24-7 care. In assisted living, the residents are typically higher functioning, and most are more ambulatory. Moreover, the setup is more like living in your own small apartment. I work in both settings and like both because it creates a nice balance. Mary Ann Konarzewski, CMT, CMLDT, is an author, speaker, therapeutic activity specialist, and massage therapist specializing in elder care. She is the author of the book Creating a Rich and Meaningful Life in Long-Term Care: A Guide for Family Caregivers and Eldercare Professionals (Apocryphile Press, 2017). She can be reached at maryannkonarewski705@gmail.com. If you find you enjoy working with frail elders, I suggest you prepare yourself by: • Taking a class in geriatric massage. • Learning about different medications used by this population and how they may interact with massage. • Learning about this population's primary medical conditions and how those conditions may inform the way you work with these clients. • Reading as much as you can about the physical, psychological, and physiological impacts of aging. • Educating yourself on the cautions and contraindications of working with this group of clients. For example, aging skin is much thinner than younger skin, and bruises and tears easily; bones are more brittle, and subject to fracture if someone has osteoporosis. These are some important factors to keep in mind before working with someone who is a frail, older adult. • Learning about the different types of dementia, how they manifest differently, and how to effectively communicate with someone who has dementia. A good place to start is by going to www.alz. org and www.idba.org. NOW, JUMP IN! TRAINING AND EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES c a r e 1 0 1 2

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