The Value of Touch- Breaking a Barrier

by Mary Bolduc, LPN

Touch is a very important component of the care that we give to Seniors. It could be a pat on the back, holding the hand, or even a caress of the arm. There are a number of ways that touch serves as a comfort to another. It signals safety and trust, providing it’s own language of compassion and care.

As a caregiver, I believe that a part of my goal is to join the clients where they are on their journey. By meeting the clients where they are, a simple touch plays a big role in calming, soothing, and potentially improving both physical, mental and emotional health, as well as their overall well-being. It helps to establish a much needed emotional connection between my clients and me, allowing them to relax. It has also been shown to slow symptoms of depression.

Simple touch can become an integral part of the caregiving that we provide to our clients. Whether it’s an expression of acknowledgement for having played a good hand in cards, recognizing the completion of a task, or gently holding hands in a heart-felt conversation about what the future holds, touch is what completes that cycle of communication between each client and caregiver.

Various studies have proven the power of a gentle touch in caring for those clients in our care. Implementing touch as a part of your care might, initially, seem a bit unusual for you if it isn’t something that you do already. Soon though, it will feel “second nature” to you, further personalizing an existing bond between the client and you. By increasing our language of compassion and care to our clients, we work to increase the value of each relationship with them.