The Power of Loving Touch.
Updated: Mar 28, 2021
The power of intentional conscious touch is huge. Something small, like a hug, a hand massage, can significantly improve the way we feel. Seniors are often very touch deprived and benefit hugely from having loving touch brought into their lives.
A gentle hand massage can help with relaxation, reducing anxiety and help someone feel connected and less isolated. Sitting close during a visit and holding a hand can make a vast difference to how cared for and "seen" an elder feels. Conscious gentle touch can help to ease the feeling of loneliness and isolation that often comes with time. It also helps to mitigate the effects of depression by helping the person feel connected.Other senses may dull and diminish with age, but I think as we get older our need for touch increases.
While I was visiting a 94-year-old friend in an assisted living facility, I took the time to brush her hair while I was chatting to her. She immediately closed her eyes, stopped talking to be fully present and enjoy the experience. It brought back memories of her childhood and her mother, which she shared with me.
Touch affects all of us and is vital to feeling connected. If we can introduce more healing and intentional touch into our senior's lives, it will add to their quality of life. For most people this statement is correct, but it is important to recognize the few who do not enjoy the sense of being touched. This may be because of cultural influences or history. They will clarify that touch is not something they feel comfortable with.
"Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." — Leo Buscaglia in The Way of Conflict.