There seems to be a small community of senior massage providers, so it is great when one of us connects with another. She and I serve elders, but in different ways.

1. Background?
I majored in health sciences, worked as a childcare worker in a group home program providing emergency & long term foster care, then as a rehabilitation therapist in a day treatment program for youth, spent many years in hospitality and had a small catering business. Massage has always been a hobby and going to massage school was my 'midlife crisis' career change.

2. Why your interest in this branch of therapy?
As I saw my parents age, I relocated to my home state of NC to help home care my father with Alzheimer's until his passing, then providing care for my mother's terminal cancer. My mother loved massage and my dad loved
facials; so I turned their home into a day spa!

3. How did you train for this?
Chair massage is a passion, and was a large part of my practice before I began working exclusively with seniors. I modified those techniques to work with seniors in wheelchairs and gerichairs.

4. What differences do you see with seniors.
Obviously the pressure, but the biggest difference is the positioning.

5. Why do you see senior massage as holding promise for ur profession?
Being a baby boomer myself, boomers expect excellence in quality of life & services. Since we are the generation who really believes in massage & natural healing, therapists need to learn these techniques.

6. What kinds of success have you experienced?
Making a difference in someone's life is my real definition of success. However, I've created a massage program in a continuing care retirement community where I've been able to reach so many seniors and now am able to teach this profound work to the massage community.

7. Can you say a word or two about working with seniors?
When I speak to groups of students, and they ask me what it's like working with seniors I say,''This has been the ride of my life! Every day is different; I see different people every day, learn something new every day and teach something new every day.

8. How can someone get information on training?
There are many resources for geriatric massage training. The best way is word of mouth from someone you trust.

9.What kind of common precautions with elders?
Seniors' fragile skin, compromised immune system, multiple medications, arthritic joints and many others.
The crux of my class is an extensive pathology section where I've taken medical conditions from the charts
(which I have access to) for the therapist as a reference guide to use for indications/contraindications.

10. Any favorite stories from your practice?
Oh so many, but here's one of my favorites: I was performing chair massage at a health fair at a hospital. One of the auxiliary volunteers (80ish) kept eying me suspiciously until she worked up the nerve to come over.
She had never had a massage, no recent accidents or injuries. I took great care to fit the chair correctly so she would be comfortable and have a positive experience. When I inquired," How's the pressure Mrs. Taylor?",
she replied,"Oh it's good. About 90 over 70."

11.How can people find out more about you and yoru services?

Author's Bio: 

Linda Mac Dougall has an M.A. in Psychology and has spent many years working with the developmentally disabled as direct care to an administrator of two large group homes. She was a federal advocate for the state of Hawaii’s DD population before training in holistic health and massage, and specializing in seniors and the disabled.
More recently she has begun 'Love Your Longevity', a speaking adventure addressing baby boomers and their children on healthy aging. Soon there will also be a subscription website to compliment this venture. In the meantime