As of last year, the number of baby boomers – those between 51 and 69 -- was estimated at 74.9 million. With a growing focus on wellness and the desire stay more active than previous generations, the boomer generation is seeing out alternative health therapies, including massage therapy. While you spa or massage practice may not currently be focused on the aging population, the numbers indicate that including geriatric massage among your offerings could greatly increase your business opportunity.

In addition to clients who come into your spa or massage practice, you may find opportunities among clients who are living in assisted living facilities or still in their own homes. For those, who prefer not to travel, having a mobile massage practice could be an advantage.

But even before you get started, you might want to look into special training and certification to help you better understand and serve the needs of geriatric clients.  As an example, geriatric massage will use gentle stretching and joint movements as well as less pressure. Because skin is thinner, you’ll want to choose massage lubricants carefully to ensure they don’t cause a reaction or during the treatment. You’ll also want to find out if the client has any underlying conditions that can be affected by massage, among them thrombosis or phlebitis or an underlying heart condition, advises the Geriatric Massage Institute.

In addition to physical conditions to be aware of, there also is a need to understand the state of mind of the elderly. Clients may be experiencing lifestyle and emotional changes due a possible reduced income during retirement, loss of family members or a less active social life if friends move away. While patience and compassion should be the hallmark of any professional, you’ll want to be especially sensitive to the changes affecting your older clients.

Adapt marketing for seniors

Here are some things about seniors that can help your outreach:

Personalize solutions: Seniors want solutions that speak to their individual needs. When you have the chance to talk to a potential senior client, make the message very personalized.

Highlight results: While cost is important, seniors are more concerned about meeting a need. If they are convinced your service can help, they will be less concerned about the price.

Keep it simple: Make the message about what you have to offer straightforward in ads, emails and your website. Don’t use jargon or come across as patronizing or condescending to someone older. Simple should also apply to visuals. Don’t overload your marketing materials with too many images that will confuse the reader.

Word of mouth matters: For this age group, word of mouth is particularly important.  Prevail on clients to help spread the word about your spa or massage practice to their senior friends. Also you’ll want to become visible in your community through volunteer work or participation in organizations where you have a chance to connect with seniors.

Partner with other service providers: Reach out to chiropractors, physical therapists and even senior care service providers to recommend you. You might want to identify several professionals in your community you would like to work with and ask to meet to discuss co-marketing potential.

Make special offers: Everyone loves a deal, but some seniors on fixed incomes especially appreciate the buy one, get one free offer on a retail item or discount on a service. You might be able to introduce seniors to their first session though a discounted service offering.

Serving geriatric clients and great enhance their quality of life while it helps build your business.