Students Relieve Effects of Sundowning With Massage

Globe University-Madison West students in the Pregnancy/Special Populations Massage class spent time at Covenant Oaks Memory Care unit providing massage to residents diagnosed with dementia or other memory loss diseases. This visit was not a first for the MS155 class, but to the new students and residents involved, a positive and rewarding experience.

Richard Prigan

Student Richard Prigan chats with resident while giving her a massage.

Throughout the quarter students studied different populations who need special care during massage. Representing Covenant Oaks, Marcy Turner, Events and Activities Coordinator talked about what to expect when working with people with dementia. With many misconceptions on people with dementia out there, students learned how massage benefits them. Students learned about sundowning, a period when dementia patients become more agitated, confused and restless. This occurs during evening hours and also can result in patients experiencing difficult or negative behaviors.

Those residents who received massage from Globe Students became more relaxed and less restless. Marcy Turner shared, “The massages that Globe students provided to our residents benefited them significantly. They received excellent one on one attention and it helped prepare them for bed right around the time when sundowning occurs. Our staff noted that our residents slept better.”

Massage Therapy students enjoyed their time at Covenant Oaks.

Barb Pfluger

Massage Therapy student, Barb Pfluger works on a residents shoulders.

Maria Allen

Maria Allen smiles as she works on a resident's arms.

“Coming to Covenant Oaks was a great experience. It was wonderful meeting the residents and making them feel good. I hope we made their day, as much as they made mine.” said Maria Allen.

Colleen Boettcher added, “It was so rewarding to meet the residents. I could feel them relax as the tension melted away from their hands and shoulder.”