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Comforting Touch in Dementia and End of Life Care

*Highly Commended in the Popular Medicine category at the 2012 British Medical Association Book Awards* The simple sensation of touching someone's hand can have a powerful therapeutic effect. Hand massage is a positive and meaningful way of reaching out and providing comfort to those who are elderly, ill or nearing the end of life, and it can be particularly effective for people with dementia who may respond well to positive non-verbal interaction. This book offers inspiration for all caregivers looking for an alternative way to support and connect with a family member, friend or patient in their care. It teaches an easy 30 minute hand massage sequence and offers clear instructions and detailed illustrations to guide the reader through each step. Combining light massage strokes with focused awareness, and paying close attention to points on energy pathways, this book introduces a structured way of sharing touch that is grounded in Western and Eastern massage traditions. Gentle touch therapy is ideal for healthcare professionals and family members alike, and has been shown to have physical and emotional benefits for both the giver and the receiver.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Part 1. A Sense of Connection. 1. Your Radiant Sea. 2. Sharing the Benefits of Touch. 3. The Body as Particles and Waves. 4. A Tangible Spirit. Part 2. Focusing Your Touch. 5. Physical and Energetic Qualities of the Hand. 6. Before You Begin: Observing Best Practices. 7. Elements of a Session. 8. A Hand Massage Sequence. 9. At a Glance: The Sequence and Reminders. Part 3: The Reality of Practicing. 10. Ten Challenges to Sharing Touch. 11. Adapting for Different Needs. 12. Comforting Touch in End of Life Care. Resources. References. Index.

Promotional Information

Simple hand massage techniques for carers looking to connect with and comfort people with dementia

About the Author

Barbara Goldschmidt is a writer, researcher and licensed massage therapist. She has taught at health care facilities, community centers and in the massage therapy program at Swedish Institute, a college of health sciences in New York City. She has been active in the field of integrative health care for over 30 years. Her website can be visited at Niamh van Meines is a nurse practitioner, currently self employed as a nurse consultant. She is a skilled clinical leader and educator in oncology, homecare, hospice and palliative care. She is also a licensed massage therapist and teaches massage therapy students about career development in end of life care.


*Highly Commended in the Popular Medicine category of the 2012 BMA Medical Book Awards* 'provides thoughtful and evidence based advice and tuition on working with this client group, and a reminder of the importance of seeing a person as a "whole" and not just their condition.' -- College of Occupational Therapy Specialist Section, Older People Newsletter This is a clever little book in that it carefully balances Eastern philosophy of the body-energy-spirit system of integrative care with evidence-based studies focusing on the effectiveness and benefits of hand massage... Take My Hand is a book that we can all use - practitioners, daughters and sons, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers - to provide those we care for with the gift that is free but most valuable: our comforting touch. -- Dementia UK and Inside Palliative Care While massage and yoga may seem a little bit too "alternative" to some readers, these two books make a very good case for their use in care homes. They both put forward simple and unthreatening exercises that can be led by staff at any level. I would recommend starting any such program (massage or yoga) by getting staff to learn and appreciate the techniques by practicing on each other - a good way to begin a team meeting. -- Caring Times Goldschmidt and van Meines' book will give new hope, direction and skills to those who want to help their fellow human beings as they face some of life's greatest challenges. Caregivers will find practical information on ways to use touch and hand massage to ease the suffering and enhance the quality of life for those who are terminally ill or who have advanced dementia. With its exceptionally clear and straightforward directions (and edifying illustrations) for carrying out the hand massage, this book is a natural for inclusion in long-term care in-service classes. -- Nanette A. Kramer, Ph.D., Clinical Geropsychologist, Brooklyn, New York For family members who wonder 'what can I do?' [this book] offers profound information about a simple yet deeply meaningful way to connect with loved ones who have dementia or are at the end of life. -- Megan Haungs, licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist, and former Dean of the Acupuncture Program at Swedish Institute, College of Health Sciences, New York Much more than a how-to book, Comforting Touch in Dementia and End of Life Care is really an open invitation to the transformative experience of providing simple, conscious touch to loved ones who are in one way or another slipping away from us. Drawing from sources as varied as mindfulness practices, research, Chinese Medicine, and moving personal stories, the authors provide caregivers with a clear path to offering simple hand massage, and to the benefits and profound sense of connection that often result. -- Lucy Liben, Dean of the Massage Therapy Program at Swedish Institute, College of Health Sciences, New York In my work at the nursing home I found that when I used a hand massage it helped residents feel calm and cared for. It was like meditating, or taking a drink of cool water, creating a sense of peace and quiet. We discovered that when we share touch we not only send a message, we also receive one. That's what this approach is all about. -- Hermine Mitchell, certified nursing assistant, St. Alban's, New York

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