When a loved one can’t communicate anymore holding hands is very essential and important. Examples of this are all around. Many with a disability will hold onto another person for guidance or security, in dementia having a physical connection can make a person feel emotionally connected as well.
Several studies have identified physical benefits to touch, including lowering blood pressure, decreasing pain, improving mood, and decreasing stress-related cortisol and heart rates.
When your loved one is living with dementia, as time goes by they may start to forget words more and more, sometimes they may want to express how they feel but words just wont come out. This is where a need to become active and support them by showing the person that they are not alone is paramount. Hugging and holding hands with your loved once with dementia can significantly improve their mood.
In this video there’s an amazing example of how important it is to hold hands with your loved one living with dementia, a woman who visits her husband everyday in the famous village for people with dementia in the Netherlands Hodgeweyk. She holds his hand during the entire interview and explains how important it is.
You can watch the video from 8:25 minutes onward to catch this segment.
- Hand Lotion Massage
- Hair Combing or Brushing
- Shoulder Hug
- High Five
- Massage Therapy
- Pat on the Arm
“One study which involved 68 nursing home residents with dementia demonstrated that those who received hand massages for 10 minutes showed significantly reduced agitation compared to those who received no intervention.”
Lack of human attention and touch for people with dementia, especially in a care home can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, poor trust in caregivers, insecurity and decreased sensory awareness.
At the dementia café we want to introduce the soothing element of hand massage which may benefit people living with dementia.