With the support of palliative care and hospice, a growing number of people are choosing the kinds of experiences they want at the end of life. Massage can offer moments of comfort, wellbeing and beauty at a challenging time for patients and their loved ones. Yet most of us are not prepared with the right skills or knowledge to offer this help. Palliative Touch: Massage for People at the End of Life is written for healthcare providers and complementary therapists, including massage therapists, energy workers, aromatherapists, nurses, home health aides, end-of-life doulas and others who wish to provide safe, comforting touch for people with life-limiting illness.
Based on more than two decades of field and inpatient hospice experience, this book addresses the following topics: Basic knowledge and skills such as entering and preparing the space, safety precautions, supportive positioning for massage in the home or hospital, best lubricants for distressed skin, how much pressure to use for a variety of scenarios Stages of dying, from early decline through the last breath Twenty-five common symptoms at the end of life, with ideas to address each Clinical information regarding common diagnoses, medications, equipment, procedures and devices Cultural issues and how these can impact end-of-life care
Readers are guided to engage with the material at whatever level might be appropriate for their needs, with practical tips in every chapter. Beautiful color photographs, actual case studies and stories from therapists, caregivers and patients bring the information to life by connecting it to real people. Palliative Touch is intended for anyone who might wish to support a dying client or loved one to feel better so that life can be lived to the fullest, right up until the end.