Massage & Bodywork


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• Will be recognized as raising their standard of care. This may give the organization an edge in a competitive marketplace. Barbara Clayton, a Missouri nursing home administrator, says, "Providing massage for our residents puts us a cut above other facilities—going above and beyond what's required." • Enhances resident, family, and staff satisfaction. This is a win-win- win situation. The resident wins by directly reaping the benefi ts of massage. Family members enjoy the positive response of their loved one and, as a result, may also begin to seek out therapeutic massage. As mentioned earlier, staff members win in two ways: indirectly, when the elders they care for have fewer complaints of discomfort and are more content; and directly, if they, too, receive an occasional massage. • Augments the special care of residents with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association states, "Residents who are not ambulatory can be meaningfully engaged and stimulated by such activities as massages." HOW DOES MASSAGE THERAPY HELP MEET FEDERAL GUIDELINES? Massage services can be integrated into the resident's plan of care. Documentation of your service contributes evidence of a nonpharmacological approach for relieving pain, calming agitation, and aiding sleep, and an innovative one-to-one bedside activity for low-functioning residents. WHO PAYS FOR MASSAGE THERAPY SERVICES? The answer to this question lies in the structure of the agreement you have with the organization. You may be hired as a staff member, in which case you would be paid a salary to provide massage with or without employee benefi ts. Or, you may be brought on as an independent contractor. In this case, there are two possible options for payment. Option 1: The organization pays you an hourly rate for a set number of hours per month. This offers the facility two advantages: any resident or patient may receive massage, and they can offer your services as a value- added amenity, something that may be attractive to their potential customers. The advantage to you is reliable hours of work. The organization may also agree to pay you for staff massages or educational presentations. Option 2: The organization permits you to offer massage on a fee-for-service basis. In this case, the resident or patient, or his responsible party, hires you directly; therefore, you would work only with those individuals who have contracted your services. With this arrangement, there is no cost to the organization, which may appeal to the management. The challenge is that you have to attract and retain clients. Ask the director to help distribute information about your services. One suggestion is to place your service brochure in the materials that all new residents receive upon admission. Offer to give a short presentation about massage at facility meetings or create a display for the lobby to announce the new service. IS A PHYSICIAN'S ORDER REQUIRED FOR MASSAGE THERAPY? No. But there are instances where you should consult with the physician to ensure safety—for example, if the resident has had recent surgery, acute illness, or chemotherapy. CAN OUR STAFF RECEIVE MASSAGE? Absolutely! Care professionals can benefi t from on-site massage to reduce the effects of job-related stress and prevent burnout. Massage is perfect for incentive programs that reward employees for a job well done! Offer to provide this service on a regular basis. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS SHOULD THE MASSAGE THERAPIST HAVE? Provide your license or certifi cation credentials and proof of professional liability insurance. Highlight any specialized training in meeting the needs of people in later life stages. BRING YOUR PIONEERING SPIRIT Consumers today expect eldercare organizations to provide innovative programs that refl ect the changing face of aging. Your services help these organizations be in step with this growing trend, while at the same time profoundly impacting the well-being of people living in long-term care. Including this special population in your practice can be professionally and personally rewarding. It requires specialized skills, sensitivity, and compassion—as well as a bit of a pioneering spirit. You can succeed in opening the door to eldercare or hospice organizations, and in doing so, positively affect those who need your touch. Ann Catlin, OTR, LMT, is a recognized educator and author in the fi eld of massage for those in later life stages. She draws upon 30 years of experience to guide health-care professionals in reclaiming human touch in eldercare and hospice. She founded and directs the Center for Compassionate Touch, LLC, an organization that conducts Compassionate Touch training internationally ( F r e e S O A P n o t e s w i t h M a s s a g e B o o k f o r A B M P m e m b e r s : a b m p . u s / M a s s a g e b o o k 61 BRINGING COMFORT TO OUR AGING POPUL ATION

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