This is a guest post by Marcela De Vivo.
A day at the spa can greatly benefit a senior citizen’s physical health and wellbeing, as well as improve their overall mood; however, senior citizens tend to have more issues and restrictions than the younger generation. Spa treatments that focus on basic maintenance to pain relief, stress management and relaxation are ideal for elderly spa-goers, who may not be up to the rigors of certain massages.
Older individuals experience the same benefits of spa treatments as the average adult, and then some. Treatments, like massages, help stimulate circulation and can help ease stiff joints – a common complaint amongst the older set. Additionally, massage releases endorphins, which can help reduce stress and produce a sense of comfort. Senior citizens tend to be more isolated than the average population, and may not have as much of an opportunity for physical contact and comfort – a spa session provides that healing touch.
Keep in mind that the elderly tend to be more fragile and certain treatments either need to be modified or completely omitted. For example, waxing and vigorous scrubs are not recommended as older skin tends to be very delicate, and the risk of burning or tearing the skin is higher.
Body work, like massages, must also be adjusted to take into consideration any physical limitations or ailments. While spa sessions can improve muscle stiffness and soreness, joint stiffness from arthritis and flexibility, the aesthetician has to be careful not to aggravate an existing condition.
Here are a few spa treatments that would suit the needs and limitations of many seniors:
Gentle facials can address a multitude of skin conditions that may affect the elderly face. Older skin is more delicate and dry, and a soothing facial can help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, while providing much need hydration.
One of the gentlest forms of massage, this option is nearly always available on a spa menu. A calming Swedish massage uses long, gentle strokes and circular, kneading motions to improve circulation and reduce tension in tired muscles. The masseuse can also work on the ligaments to relieve arthritis symptoms.
While this often falls under the “massage” category on a spa menu, Reiki involves very light to no physical touching. Ideal for seniors who are uncomfortable with being touched by a stranger, or have too many ailments to be safely addressed by a licensed masseuse, Reiki allows those with several limitations to still benefit from a spa treatment.
Using a light touch (or none at all) over certain points of the body, Reiki balances the energy in those areas, improving the senior’s overall well-being; it has also been found to help reduce physical pain.
Paraffin wax not only provides much needed moisturization to the dry skin of many senior citizens, but the warm wax baths can provide temporary relief from arthritis discomfort as well. The wax will smooth and soothe the skin while the heat helps relieve aches and pains.
Manicures and pedicures
Manicures and pedicures for senior citizens are not just about pretty polishes or trimmed nails – these relaxing treatments help improve circulation to these extremities through the gentle hand and foot massages that are often part of the service. The soothing lotion and oils used can also help relieve dry skin. It also helps with seniors’ basic grooming as holding nail clippers can become more difficult with age.
Facial hair removal
Excess hair in unwanted spots begins to appear with age in both men and women. Threading and depilatories are recommended – waxing is not, due to the delicate and thin skin of the elderly. While depilatories are rarely used in spas, many locations do offer threading, which is an excellent option to help groom unruly facial hair.
Some spas will offer specials or discount days to senior citizens, so be sure to shop around before committing to a location.
Spas are not just for the young, but for the young-at-heart as well. Just because a senior citizen may not be able to experience everything a traditional spa has to offer, doesn’t mean that they have to forgo taking care of themselves altogether! These treatments are safe not only for the elderly, but for nearly anyone that requires specific needs.
Author Bio: Marcela De Vivo writes for a Miami-based salon about a range of health and wellness topics. She loves to learn about alternative treatments to increase well beings, including yoga, meditation, and reflexology. If you’d like to reach out, she loves to spend time on social media, you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.