Dementia and Massage Therapy
Massage General Courses

Dementia and Massage Therapy

Author(s): Julie Goodwin

4CE credits 17 Lessons Text

Discover the therapeutic benefits massage therapy may offer for clients with dementia including Alzheimer’s disease.  Learn the causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms and medical treatments for the various forms of dementia. Explore what you need to know to create safe and effective session plans including the cautions and contraindications.  

When you finish this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the etiology, risk factors, signs and symptoms, possible complications, medical treatments, medications and side effects for Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and frontotemporal dementia (FTLB).
  • Describe Indications, cautions, contraindications and effects of massage for clients with a form of dementia.
  • Create session plans for clients with forms of dementia that outline therapeutic intentions, assessments, modalities and techniques, and guidelines for positioning, draping and other comfort measures.

  1. Defining Dementia and Its Effects on Elders
  2. Types of Dementia: Getting to Know the Disease
  3. Risk Factors and Symptoms of Dementia
  4. Conditions That Mimic Dementia Symptoms
  5. The Challenges of Diagnosing Dementia
  6. Why Early Diagnosis Is Important
  7. Treating Dementia: Medications and Integrative Approaches
  8. Dementia Care Options: When Clients Cannot Be Home
  9. The Financial Costs of Dementia
  10. Planning Care for Dementia Clients: What Massage Therapists Should Know
  11. The Importance of Caregivers to Dementia Clients
  12. What to Be Aware of With Your Dementia Clients
  13. The Dynamics of Family and Caregivers
  14. Working With Clients Living in Residential Care Settings
  15. Ethical Considerations in Massage for Dementia
  16. Dementia Case Profiles: Real-Life Clients with Dementia
  17. Resources

Julie Goodwin is a longtime massage therapy educator and an NCBTMB-approved provider. She is the author of Touch & Movement: Palpation and Kinesiology for Massage Therapists and creator of