"Love is survival benefits, bestowed in a creative manner."

Ashley Montagu, anthropologist and author of Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin

Touch is a vital part of life.

Touch has power because it engages our body, our energies, and our inner world of thoughts, emotions and spirit. When used with intention and skill, touch can be a tangible expression of care that enhances health and healing.

When sharing the benefits of touch, the giver and receiver may find they tap into a creative flow that goes both ways. A deeper connection to one's self, to each other, and to life, occurs.

Touch communicates in a
non-verbal way.

Comforting Touch in Dementia and End of Life Care: Take My Hand, by Barbara Goldschmidt and Niamh van Meines, is a book that encourages people to share a basic hand massage with someone they care for.

It is about how to use touch in a focused way, which takes it from ordinary use to a mindful practice. As that happens, the interaction also sheds light on the value of time, our understanding of the body and bringing personal power into health care.

Hand massage is a well researched approach for providing comfort and connection for those who may be isolated at home or in an institution, and the book presents a step-by-step protocol.


The book was "highly commended" by the British Medical Association's Book Awards for 2012, in the category of "Popular Medicine".


A review by John Burton in Caring Times said of the book that it, "put forward simple and unthreatening exercises that can be led by staff at any level. I would recommend starting any such program by getting staff to learn and appreciate the techniques by practicing on each other - a good way to begin a team meeting." (May 23, 2012)

On Dementia UK’s website a review by Wendy S. Weidner says that “This is a clever little book in that it carefully balances the Eastern philosophy of the body-energy-spirit system of integrative health care with evidence-based studies focusing on the effectiveness and benefits of hand massage. Goldschmidt and van Meines aren’t afraid to ask us to dig deep and think about what connects us as human beings."          Dementia UK review.

A review in the newsletter for the College of Ocupational Therapy - Specialist Section (June 2012) says that "the book more than meets its aims, as it is educational in a user friendly format, reassuring and thought provoking." Reviewer Elisabeth Tremlett concludes that the book is "a reminder of the importance of seeing a person as a 'whole' and not just their condition."


The book can be purchased through the Singing Dragon website, an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers or through www.amazon.com. Also available in Italian from Erickson and in German from Verlag Modernes Lernen.

View a Sample

"Highly Commended"

British Medical Association

The German translation of Comforting Touch for Dementia and End of Life Care: Take My Hand is now available. http://www.verlag-modernes-lernen.de/docs/shop-details.php?Bestell_nr=1607