Touch and Hugs

by Lois Etienne on October 6, 2012

in Caregiver Support,Lifestyle,Senior Health and Safety

Remember the words to the Diana Ross song?

Reach  out and touch somebody’s hand

   Make this world a better place if you can.

So, why do we hug and touch one another? It’s a way to say, “I care.” The effects are immediate for both the hugger and the one receiving the hug.  Touch creates a bond between two people and is a natural expression. Our skin is also a sense organ and touch provides our brains with a lot of feedback about our environment.

So, if we appreciate touch, do we really need it? There were studies many years ago about orphan babies who were not touched and they did not develop normally. So, I’ll assume from that, and because  I believe it anyways, we really do need touch.

Boomer-Daughter-Embracing-MotherNow an interesting thing is that, as people age, they get ‘touched’ less and less. As we age, we don’t hug our kids or mothers as often as when everyone was younger. Can you imagine that the only ‘touch’ you get is when someone is helping you to the restroom? I’ve always said, you may get your mom to move into an Assisted Living but you can’t get her to participate in all of the social events.

Anyways, just my tirade on hugs and touch. I think the following saying is a good one to follow.

We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.
                                                          —Virginia Satir, family therapist

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