Dementia caregivers who receive foot massages at work enjoy lower blood pressure, less anxiety, researchers say

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Caregivers working with seniors who have dementia benefit from foot massages administered during their shifts, suggests new research.

Noting that dementia care can be stressful, and that massage has been shown to reduce stress among nurses, researchers in Australia conducted a pilot trial that involved staff members at a Queensland long-term care facility. One group of caregivers could receive up to three 10-minute foot massages a week, given during their shifts. A control group of staff members did not receive massages.

The researchers found those who received massages had lower diastolic blood pressure and lower levels of anxiety than those who did not receive the treatment. The researchers described “significant differences” between the two groups' blood pressure and anxiety measurements, and said a larger study is called for to build on the “promising” findings.

The report on the pilot trial appears in the journal BMC Nursing.

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