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Seniors massage decreases onset of delirium in patients with dementia

Scientific research on aging and disease has included massage as a way to help aging patients. For example, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends using massage to sooth an Alzheimer’s patient who has become irritated**. The New England Journal of Medicine described a study aimed to decrease the onset of an episode of delirium in patients with dementia*.

A control group received standard care, and the study group received a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including massage therapists. The results of the study found that the multidisciplinary team was able to prevent more episodes of delirium than the control group. One of the successful protocols used on the study group was massage. Clients report sleeping better, a reduction in stress, relief from arthritis and chronic pain, increased recovery time from surgeries, better circulation, lower blood pressure and relief from some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. *New England Journal of Medicine, March 4, 1999 ** Steps to Understanding Challenging Behaviors: Responding to Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Association, 1998

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