Relatives often feel helpless as their loved one’s mental ability deteriorates and the disease progresses. Reflexology can be a powerful and therapeutic addition that can complement the healthcare they are already likely to be receiving. Many carers and relatives can be taught simple hand reflexology techniques that can help calm, bring peace and ease anxiety to the sufferer, and increase wellbeing. This connection between giver and receiver is a positive exchange for both.
Reflexology is a non-invasive and very safe form of therapy. Even though some elderly people may not feel totally comfortable with touch, many see it as a means of connecting with the outside world when all other forms of communication are beginning to fail.
A short treatment of just 5 to 10 minutes sometimes produces a stabilising effect. Ideally, 20 to 30 minutes is the best option. Hand reflexology works very well with sufferers as some may become confused or distressed if shoes and socks are removed. The hands are easily accessible and are perceived as a more natural and familiar option. Foot reflexology can be used very effectively too, but only if the receiver is comfortable and shows no signs of distress.
At present there is no cure for dementia. It is a progressive disease and medication and therapies can only alleviate symptoms. Reflexology can help to bring calm and a feeling of relaxation to those whose world is appearing to spiral out of control.