College of Occupational Therapy Specialist Section, Older People Newsletter
*Highly Commended in the Popular Medicine category of the 2012 BMA Medical Book Awards* 'provides thoughtful and evidence based advice and tuition on working with this client group, and a reminder of the importance of seeing a person as a "whole" and not just their condition.'
Dementia UK and Inside Palliative Care
This is a clever little book in that it carefully balances Eastern philosophy of the body-energy-spirit system of integrative care with evidence-based studies focusing on the effectiveness and benefits of hand massage... Take My Hand is a book that we can all use - practitioners, daughters and sons, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers - to provide those we care for with the gift that is free but most valuable: our comforting touch.
While massage and yoga may seem a little bit too "alternative" to some readers, these two books make a very good case for their use in care homes. They both put forward simple and unthreatening exercises that can be led by staff at any level. I would recommend starting any such program (massage or yoga) by getting staff to learn and appreciate the techniques by practicing on each other - a good way to begin a team meeting.
Nanette A. Kramer, Ph.D., Clinical Geropsychologist, Brooklyn, New York
Goldschmidt and van Meines' book will give new hope, direction and skills to those who want to help their fellow human beings as they face some of life's greatest challenges. Caregivers will find practical information on ways to use touch and hand massage to ease the suffering and enhance the quality of life for those who are terminally ill or who have advanced dementia. With its exceptionally clear and straightforward directions (and edifying illustrations) for carrying out the hand massage, this book is a natural for inclusion in long-term care in-service classes.
Megan Haungs, licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist, and former Dean of the Acupuncture Program at Swedish Institute, College of Health Sciences, New York
For family members who wonder 'what can I do?' [this book] offers profound information about a simple yet deeply meaningful way to connect with loved ones who have dementia or are at the end of life.
Lucy Liben, Dean of the Massage Therapy Program at Swedish Institute, College of Health Sciences, New York
Much more than a how-to book, Comforting Touch in Dementia and End of Life Care is really an open invitation to the transformative experience of providing simple, conscious touch to loved ones who are in one way or another slipping away from us. Drawing from sources as varied as mindfulness practices, research, Chinese Medicine, and moving personal stories, the authors provide caregivers with a clear path to offering simple hand massage, and to the benefits and profound sense of connection that often result.
Hermine Mitchell, certified nursing assistant, St. Alban's, New York
In my work at the nursing home I found that when I used a hand massage it helped residents feel calm and cared for. It was like meditating, or taking a drink of cool water, creating a sense of peace and quiet. We discovered that when we share touch we not only send a message, we also receive one. That's what this approach is all about.