As America’s senior population continues to expand, an increasing number of research studies are identifying means of assisting people along the path through old age. New research shows using acupressure along with Montessori-based activities decrease agitation for residents with dementia.

Previous studies show that massage therapy assists seniors’ balance, hand massage promotes seniors’ comfort and satisfaction with care, and aromatherapy eases agitation in severe dementia.

Researchers at the Institute of Clinical and Community Health Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, found that acupressure combined with Montessori activities—those involving learning specific steps in sequence to motivate participants—resulted in a significant decrease in agitated behaviors, aggressive behaviors, and physically nonaggressive behaviors than the presence group.

Ease-of-care ratings for the acupressure and Montessori-based-activities groups were also significantly better than for the presence group.

“This study confirms that a blending of traditional Chinese medicine and a Western activities program would be useful in elderly care and that in-service training for formal caregivers in the use of these interventions would be beneficial for patients,” researchers noted.

Editor’s note: To lean more about geriatric massage as a practice specialty, click here.

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