Massage and Compassionate Touch® in Dementia Care

For a complete list of accreditations for this course, please see the accreditation information box below the author’s bio.  All states (with the exception of Hawaii) recognize our courses for accredited continuing nursing education, CNE, contact hours.

The purpose of this course is to introduce professional caregivers in eldercare or hospice and massage therapists to the benefits and practical application of skilled touch as a non-pharmacological, non-invasive and cost-effective approach in managing special needs and challenging behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to: 

  1. Differentiate Compassionate Touch® from other forms of touch therapy. 
  2. Identify caregiver challenges associated with care of elders with mid-stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Define agitated behaviors and identify possible causes. 
  4. Recognize the significance of the human touch in caregiving. 
  5. Relate the benefits of skilled touch related to dementia care.
  6. Identify the general guidelines of using skilled touch with persons with dementia. 
  7. Simulate a hand massage protocol.


Chapter 1: Introduction to Compassionate Touch®

  • Define Compassionate Touch® 
  • Compare Compassionate Touch® to other touch therapies
Chapter 2: Caregiver Challenges in Dementia Care 
  • Common Caregiver Challenges
  • Mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease characteristics 
  • Agitation
Chapter 3: The Human Touch in Caregiving 
  • Types of touch
  • Touch deprivation
Chapter 4: Benefits of Massage and Compassionate Touch®
  • Physical benefits
  • Psycho-social benefits
  • Spiritual benefits
Chapter 5: Research Findings About Massage and Dementia Care

Chapter 6: Touch Session Guidelines 
  • Location
  • Permission and initiating a session
  • Length of session
  • Clothing
  • Precautions
Chapter 7: Hand Massage Protocol 
  • Touch quality and intention
  • Components of a session
  • Hand massage technique instruction

Chapter 8: Case Scenario

Chapter 9: Resources

Chapter 10: References

  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $20.00

Contact Hours: 2

Course Author

Ann Catlin

Ann Catlin, OTR, LMT is an acknowledged expert in the field of massage therapy in eldercare and hospice.

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Course Accreditation

See our Accreditation Statements page to view our accreditation information.

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