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Touching people while providing care is an important and unavoidable aspect of in home services. You can also transform touch into a useful therapeutic tool to improve your customer and your own wellbeing.
In the course of providing in-home care, you frequently touch your customer for tasks and to provide comfort and emotional support. Studies have looked at physical contact occurring during care and offer several definitions. “Expressive” touch, for example, is spontaneous and used to establish contact, reassure and give comfort, such as laying a hand on a shoulder.
Intentional touch can be helpful when providing care and can provide important emotional care as well. Even something as simple as a hand on the shoulder, holding a hand, can be really effective to provide emotional support.
The importance of human touch is often forgotten when it comes to seniors and people with disabilities. A caregiver can make a difference in the quality of life by making the sense of touch an important part of each day.
When a partner is also a caregiver, focusing on the task of caregiving and keeping their loved one safe makes it hard to take the time and be physical and tender with them, without the caregiving coming to mind.
Depression is coming and can cause people to become withdrawn from social functions and activities. Being less social means less contact with people and thereby less stimulation of the sense of touch.
There are concerns about boundaries, and it should always be assessed as to whether a person is open to interpersonal touch. Touch and massage techniques are useful tools, but it’s important to clarify the types of contact used. For instance, during non-intimate personal hygiene care such as washing hair, take a little extra time to massage the head, or lightly brushing hair encourages the sense of touch. Add a little moisturizer to their hands can encourage a much needed sense of touch.
Check it out first! Some people don’t enjoy hugs and feel their space is being invaded. Or it can trigger panic for some. If you find the balance you can make a difference in someone’s day with just a touch.