Reflexology for Dementia in Older Adults: Facilitating Adjustment to Care Communities and to Live-in Caregivers

Language: English

Country: Israel

Date and Time (local): 19 September 2023 – 19H00


Oran is a skilled reflexology therapist with over 25 years of experience in Israel, specializing in working with individuals living with dementia for the past 15 years. Oran is also a Certified Validation
Teacher. Validation is a communication method that allows us to connect at a deeper level with older adults who have memory loss.

Oran developed Hands-on Dementia  , a method that combines Hand Reflexology and Validation techniques to help individuals affected by memory loss.

Oran globally shares her expertise through Hands-on Dementia workshops, which enhance the skillsof staff members at senior facilities, nursing homes, as well as live-in and family caregivers.

Last year Oran presented her pilot program that trains foreign live-in caregivers to use hand reflexology to provide better care for individuals living with dementia at the Alzheimer’s Disease
International Conference (ADI2022.)

The transition to a new senior community or to the presence of a live-in caregiver can pose significant challenges for older adults. This adjustment process becomes even more arduous for
individuals with cognitive changes, as it not only heightens the difficulty of adaptation but also may contribute to a decline in their cognitive abilities.

Medical researchers have described the move of older adults from a private residence to a senior community as ‚Äúrelocation stress syndrome‚ÄĚ 1 Moreover, this transition can trigger a range of emotional issues, such as anger, irritability, anxiousness, sadness, and even depression, further exacerbating the overall well-being of older adults in these situations.

This presentation aims to highlight the significance of reflexology in assisting older adults living with dementia to adjust to senior living communities and to the presence of a live-in caregiver.

With a focus on the senior life cycle, this presentation aims to provide valuable insights into the potential benefits of reflexology for individuals with dementia on an international scale.

This study adopts a case study approach to explore the effectiveness of hand reflexology in facilitating the adjustment process for older adults with dementia. The research incorporates
anecdotal evidence and experiences derived from my work as a reflexology therapist and insights gathered from dementia professionals in care communities. Additionally, the study draws on the
results of our pilot program designed to teach live-in caregivers how to use hand reflexology techniques to support individuals living with dementia.2

The methodology employed in this study focuses on the application of hand reflexology techniques, specifically utilizing the Hands-on Dementia technique. It is important to note that the presented
information has not undergone formal peer review or been published in a journal.

The results of this study showcase the real-life impact of hand reflexology on the adaptation process of individuals with dementia. Through specific examples, such as improved engagement,
communication, and increased social participation, the presentation highlights the positive outcomes observed following regular hand reflexology sessions for older adults with dementia.
While there may not be formal scientific data, the presentation presents factual information derived from documented experiences, emphasizing hand reflexology’s practical and tangible benefits in this

The conclusion of this presentation emphasizes the value of reflexology as a non-invasive and holistic approach to aid older adults with dementia in adjusting to senior living communities and to
their live-in caregivers.

The discussion will revolve around the potential benefits of reflexology, including stress reduction, emotional well-being, and enhanced social interaction.

Implications for Practice:
This presentation raises awareness about the potential benefits of reflexology for older adults with dementia and highlights the importance of considering reflexology as a supportive therapy in senior
living communities. The presentation invites conference delegates to explore the implementation of reflexology in their own practices and encourages further investigation into the effectiveness and
long-term benefits of reflexology for individuals with dementia.

1. Relocation stress syndrome in older adults transitioning from home to a long-term care facility: myth or reality?
Charles A Walker 1, Linda Cox Curry, Mildred O Hogstel
2. Hands-on Dementia: Reflexology Techniques as a Tool for the Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia
ADI2022, The 35th Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International