What Is Namaste Care?
Namaste Care is a multi-approach care programme that incorporates sensory, psycho-social and spiritual elements to enhance the quality of life of person with moderate to advanced dementia.
It aims to promote the quality of life through a daily programme which includes physical, sensory and emotional care practices, where people living with moderate to advanced dementia engage with their caregivers and care professionals, family members and their surroundings. It is also suitable for persons with end-stage illnesses such as cancer.
Namaste Care has been implemented in many countries around the world, including Singapore.
Namaste Care Toolkit
This toolkit provides practical tips on how to communicate with persons living with dementia, create a more conducive environment for daily activities of living and simply enjoying each other’s company.
How Namaste Care Was Developed
Joyce Simard, an American social worker, developed the Namaste Care programme to address the gap in provision of social, emotional and psychological support for people living with advanced dementia. She observed that dementia care focused more on medical concerns and “the experience of advanced dementia remains misunderstood and underserved”.
Focus of Namaste Care
The programme seeks to “honour the spirit within” each individual. The two principles which define the practice of Namaste care are:
1. A comfortable environment which promotes:
- Sense of calm
- Small group setting and family-like
- Meaningful verbal and non-verbal communication
2. An unhurried loving touch focusing on:
- Massage of hands and feet, hair and nail care
- Sensory stimulation from meaningful activities included in the programme
These principles are applied in both group and individual programmes. A hand massage is one of the ways to provide “tender, loving care”. Hand massages have demonstrated positive benefits such as reducing pain and anxiety, and also promotes relaxation for persons living with dementia.
Benefits of Namaste Care
The Namaste Care programme can be adapted in different settings, for example, a hospital, in the community such as a day facility, a nursing home, and at home.
In addition, in a 2019 guide published by University of Worcester, they noted that Community Care organisations that delivered the programme reaped these benefits:
For persons living with dementia (residents)
- Substantial reduction in agitation with significant increase in quality of life for participating residents
- Improvements in areas such as communication, eating and drinking, weight gain, calling out, aggression and well-being expressions were noted
For professional caregivers
- A neutral impact on staff job satisfaction, stress or burnout
- A positive experience by staff involved in programme helped foster closer relationships with their residents
For family and visitors
- Families involved in training or sessions saw positive impact on their loved ones
- Presented new ways of communication by families with their loved one
Resources On Namaste Care
Namase Care Training For Caregivers (Basic)
Through this e-learning course, you will get to learn about Namaste Care principles, the benefits of Namaste Care, and hand massage techniques. Click here or on the image to access the course.
Click on the image below to download a larger version.
Introduction to Namaste Care
Download these slides on Namaste Care by the Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing.
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