Geriatric (Elderly) Massage (16 hours)

The age of an elderly population ranges widely based on physical and mental health and mobility and other factors.

This 16-Hour intensive is packed with great tools and expertise to prepare therapists to serve elderly clients affected by a wide range of conditions, under different circumstances, and in various settings.

Besides medical knowledge, safety measures, a thorough understanding of mental/emotional client needs plus hands-on techniques, this 16-hour course emphasizes a mindful, compassionate, and caring approach paired with healthy professional boundaries and ethics that ensure maximum client benefit and a rewarding experience for both client and therapist alike.

Through experiential exercises, role play, lecture, specific hands-on skill training, and a site visit for live-interaction with elderly clients, students can become comfortable, confident, and efficient working with geriatric clients, as demand continues to rise rapidly.

The course teaches the developments of the aging body plus conditions, ailments, and disease that commonly occur at this stage of life.

Relevant and adequate communication with geriatric clients, their care givers, medical support, and family is as important as comprehending medical knowledge and contra-indications plus to adapt massage in terms of logistics, positioning, pressure and pace.

In addition to Mary Kathleen Rose’s Comfort Touch® approach, practitioners get to learn how to utilize their familiar modalities and modify them appropriately. Other modalities that complement this populations, are Acupressure, Positional Release, Reflexology, energy work like Reiki, stone, sea shell, or bamboo tool use, aromatherapy, and many more.

The bond between elderly clients and their care givers can result in long-term service relationships and additional training might become useful. For this purpose, Body Wisdom offers these additional care track courses: Oncology & Critical Care Massage, Hospice Massage, and a Death Doula Certification.

Regardless whether a therapist specializes in this niche or only occasionally uses the skills presented with this course, benefits go way beyond hands-on skills as participants will elevate their approach and quality of mindset in all life settings, professionally and personally.

Course Highlights

  • Anatomy of aging and common illnesses
  • Physiology and function of the aging body and related diagnoses
  • Contraindications and case study examples
  • Massage for a variety of conditions in the elderly including: Arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s, joint replacement, Alzheimer’s and dementia, etc.
  • Practical application with elderly clientele
  • Considerations in hospitals, retirement centers, nursing homes and hospice
  • Interactions with medical professionals, care givers, and family members
  • Customized business and marketing techniques in this field

Course Objectives

At the completion of the course, students will know and be able to:

  • Demonstrate the techniques of Comfort Touch® in the seated, supine and side-lying positions
  • Demonstrate the ability to position a client appropriately to receive massage in a medical setting, with appropriate are for the safety and comfort of the client
  • Use proper body mechanics when working with clients in wheelchairs, hospital beds and in regular beds in home care
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively with clients, medical staff, care givers, family/friends
  • Complete CARE Note documentation and demonstrate the ability to communicate with members of healthcare teams
  • State the roles and responsibilities of a massage therapist in a medical setting, and the place of massage as a complementary therapy
  • Discuss the physical and psycho-social needs and concerns of the elderly and people with acute or chronic illness, with emphasis on benefits of touch and precautions in the use of touch
  • Explain the importance of boundaries and self-care
  • Explain the importance of Infection Control: Standard and Universal Precautions in medical and home settings

Prerequisites: Therapeutic Massage Level 1 – Generally previous massage training can be helpful but is optional

NOTE: This Course combines well with other special Care Track modalities:

  • Oncology & Critical Care Massage

    Empowers therapists to provide safe, effective massage to patients of any age in multiple critical care settings. Participants learn to understand medical conditions, apply bodywork techniques, and communicate effectively with both patients, their families, and medical teams.

  • Hospice (Palliative Care) Massage

    This deeply rewarding modality is designed for therapists to benefit hospice patients, including pediatric and younger adults, their families, and medical teams. Covering pain management, emotional support, appropriate touch & massage, and effective communication, students learn to contribute invaluable skills to impact clients and those who accompany them at the end of their journey.

  • Death Doula Certification

    Designed for anyone who wishes to support individuals and families during the final stages of life. Covering a range of sensitive topics including ethical and cultural guidelines, effective communication, and comfort measures, this certification prepares participants to be compassionate and knowledgeable companions for those transitioning from life.