You might have heard of the term Namaste Care, but what is it exactly, and how does it help you in caring for your clients? Dementia Singapore, an AIC-appointed Learning Institute that provides a course on Namaste Care for Community Care professionals, sheds light on the programme and how it benefits your clients and staff.
How did Namaste Care begin?
Joyce Simard, an American social worker developed 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”.
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 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 advanced dementia engage with their caregivers and care professionals, family members and their surroundings. Namaste Care has been implemented in many countries around the world, including Singapore.
Focus of Namaste Care
The programme seeks to “honour the spirits within” the persons living with advanced dementia. Two principles which define the practice of Namaste care are:
- A comfortable environment which promotes:
a. Sense of calm
b. Small group setting and family-like
c. Meaningful verbal and non-verbal communication
- Unhurried loving touch focusing on:
a. Massage of hands and feet, hair and nail care
b. Sensory stimulation from meaningful activities included in the programme
These principles are applied in both group and individual programmes
How Namaste Care can benefit your clients and staff
The Namaste Care programme can be adapted in different settings, for example, a hospital, in the community such as a day facility, or nursing home. Community Care organisations can adopt Namaste Care and weave the programme into their daily care plan. It allows staff to build a connection with the clients and provide personalised care and support. In addition, in a 2019 guide published by University of Worcester, they noted that Community Care organisations that delivered the programme reaped these benefits:
- 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
- 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 ones
Are you an allied health professional, nurse, programme coordinator/executive or social worker who intends to implement Namaste Care programme when caring for your clients? Sign up for Dementia Singapore’s Implement Namaste Care course happening on April 7 and 8, 2022, via the LMS portal on AIC’s Learning Network.
For other enquiries, please contact Dementia Singapore at 6377 0700 or submit an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org.