Introducing aromatherapy with massage can improve the qualityof life for both the client and those caring forthem. Touch through massage has a deep effect for the recipient, passing on feelings of warmth, comfort, security and safety. Using essential oils with massage can further enhance the benefits of treatment, giving deeper relaxation and assisting in insomnia, depression, confusion and anxiety.
While being older is not a ‘disease’, extra care is required when treating more mature clients,as the process of ageing brings about many physical, mental and emotional changes.
Aromatherapy treatments may have to be adapted according to the health of the client.
Conditions such as arthritis may benefit from compresses rather than direct massage, andif lying down is difficult or uncomfortable then treatment should be adapted to suit the needs of the individual. A full body massage may be too much for some elderly clients, in which case targeting more specific areas,such as their feet or hands, can prove equally beneficial in bringing about feelings of comfort and safety.
When treating the elderly, only half the usual concentration of essential oils should be used, and it is important to keep the dose in line with the client’s age, weight and health (both mental and physical).When massaging an elderly client be aware that their skin can be very delicate and may require more carrier oil to prevent ‘pulling’. Also, be sure not to leave a residue of oil ontheir hands and feet, as this could potentiallylead to a fall or accident if they slip or losetheir grip. If massage is inappropriate, essential oils can be vaporised or useddiluted in the bath.