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Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
Opening Doors to Eldercare and Hospice
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
It's no secret that the fastest-growing segment of our population is over the age of 65 -- and the greatest increase is occurring in those 85 and above. At the same time, there is growing awareness of the benefits of massage for people who are affected by debilitating illness, injury or cognitive impairment.There is clearly a burgeoning market for massage therapists who want to work in eldercare or hospice. But the people whom massage may benefit the most -- and who make up a big portion of this market -- are often embedded in a system that is full of intimidating obstacles for the therapist. They are behind the doors of long-term care and hospice organizations. You may discover that the door into these organizations seems closed -- closed not because you lack skill or passion for the work, but because you don't know the system and its jargon or how to get past the gatekeepers to the potential client. This article offers a key to open that door: knowledge of the system and how to navigate through it to help you succeed in expanding your practice to eldercare or hospice settings.
Types of Eldercare and Hospice
First, you must become familiar with the various types of eldercare or hospice organizations: assisted living, skilled nursing (nursing home), continuing care retirement and hospice.
Assisted Living The emphasis in assisted living settings is to support mentally or physically limited persons who need help with activities of daily living, but do not need the skilled medical care provided in a nursing home. Facilities consist of private rooms or apartments as well as common areas. These facilities provide 24-hour staffing, meals, housekeeping, social activities and limited nursing services such as management of medications. Some assisted living facilities provide specialized care for elders with Alzheimer's disease.
Skilled Nursing (Nursing Home) People enter a nursing facility usually as a result of illness, injury or mental or physical debility that requires 24-hour nursing care and continuous assistance with activities of daily living. Some require this level of care temporarily, and then return home. Others require permanent care. Facilities consist of semi-private or private rooms, a common dining room and social areas. Services include 24-hour nursing and personal care, meals, psychological and spiritual support, and planned social and recreational activities. Physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as specialized care for those with Alzheimer's disease, may be available.
Continuing Care Retirement Community This is typically a campus setting with multiple levels of care including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. Residents can remain in the same community even if their needs change. Communities provide an array of services and amenities including dining, housekeeping, recreational activities, health care services, personal care assistance and nursing care.
Hospice is not a place but a concept of care. Eighty percent of hospice care is provided in the patient's home, family member's home and in nursing homes. Inpatient hospice facilities are sometimes available to assist with caregiving.
Most of these organizations will not have considered massage as an ancillary service. The following questions will be on the mind of a potential employer--be proactive in answering them.
How does massage help our residents or patients?
Not all administrators share your awareness of the benefits of massage. Remember that YOU are the expert on how massage therapy impacts the body, mind and spirit. These points will make a convincing case.
1. Massage alleviates aches and pains, resulting in:
2. Massage increases circulation, contributing to:
3. Massage provides tactile stimulation, which:
4. Massage induces a relaxation response, leading to:
5. Compassionate and caring touch supports emotional well-being by:
6. Focused touch enhances spiritual well-being, resulting in:
"It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can improve the quality of life for those in hospice and palliative care." AMTA evidenced-based position statement 2009
How do massage services benefit our profession?
Eldercare and hospice organizations are in business, too. They will want to know how massage services will improve their bottom line. Tell them that an organization that offers massage:
How does massage therapy help meet federal guidelines?
Massage services can be integrated into the resident or patient's plan of care. Documentation of your service contributes evidence of:
Who pays for massage therapy services?
The answer to this question lies in the structure of the agreement you have with the organization. You may be hired as a staff member, in which case you would be paid a salary to provide massage with or without employee benefits. More likely, however, you would be brought on as an independent contractor. In this case, there are two possible options for payment.
Option #1: The organization pays you an hourly rate for a set number of hours per month.
This offers them two advantages: any resident or patient may receive massage, and they can offer your services as a "value added" amenity, something that may be attractive to their potential customers. The advantage to you is reliable hours of work. The organization may also agree to pay you for staff massages or educational presentations.
Option #2: The organization permits you to offer massage on a fee for service basis. In this case, the resident or patient or his responsible party hires you directly; therefore you would work only with those individuals who have contracted your services. With this arrangement, there is no cost to the organization, which may appeal to the management. The challenge is that you have to attract and retain clients Ask the administrator or director to distribute information about your services. One suggestion is to place
your service brochure in the materials that all new residents or patients receive upon admission. Offer to give a short presentation about massage at family meetings or create a display for the lobby to announce the new service.
Other funding sources may include:
Is a physician's order required for massage therapy?
No. There are instances where you should consult with the physician to insure safety--for example, if the resident or patient has had recent surgery, acute illness, or chemo-therapy.
Can our staff members receive massage?
Care professionals can benefit from on-site seated massage to reduce the effects of job-related stress and prevent burnout. Massage is perfect for incentive programs to reward employees for a job well done! Offer to provide this service on a regular basis.
What qualifications should the massage therapist have?
Provide your license or certification credentials and proof of professional liability insurance. Highlight any specialized training in meeting the needs people in later life stages.
Including this special population in your practice can be professionally and personally rewarding. It requires specialized skills, sensitivity, and compassion--as well as a bit of a pioneering spirit. You can succeed in opening the door to eldercare or hospice organizations and in doing so reach out to those who need your touch.
Eldercare and hospice has its own jargon. Knowing how to communicate with the professionals who serve as gatekeepers in these settings will help you establish credibility and build relationships. Here are some terms that will help you "speak the language:"
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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