It has been said that in 25 years, the United States will have two kinds of people: those who have Alzheimer’s disease and those who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is a term meaning loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.
Licensed massage therapists agree that the transformation that can occur when intentional touch is offered, enhancing quality of life of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease.
– The woman, withdrawn and thought to be non-verbal, who looked me in the eye and said “thank you” following a hand massage.
– The gentleman whose agitation was calmed with a simple back rub allowing the nurse’s assistant to help him get dressed without the usual struggle.
– The activities director who said to me, “She has been here for several months, but when I gave her a hand massage, I felt like I really got to know her for the first time!”
So what is at the heart of these seemingly magical moments? There is clearly something profound happening that goes well beyond simple touch. We can explore the relationship between human needs and well-being to gain a greater understanding of how deep our touch truly goes.