On 27th September 2016 we were privileged to host a visit by Professor Joyce Simard, the originator of Namaste Care. Joyce spent a full day with us, observing our Namaste practice, meeting residents and relatives, and training staff in techniques that will enable us to enhance the therapy’s effectiveness in our home. She has given us this overview of the programme.
“Namaste Care was developed by me in a small nursing home in Bennington, Vermont, USA. It was originally planned for residents with advanced dementia who were no longer able to participate in the home’s activity program. These residents were often isolated in their rooms, sleeping in an activity they could no longer participate in, or placed in front of a television set, usually sleeping. While their medical and physical needs were met, their psychosocial needs were not. I believed that in spite of their advanced dementia these residents could benefit from being a part of a small group. Our first program was located in a room that we made look warm and inviting. The scent of lavender permeated the space and beautiful music was playing as residents were taken into the room. Meaningful activities for our residents were simply to loving touch them while washing and moisturizing their faces, arms and legs. Fussing with their hair, giving men an “old fashioned shave”, made them react with pleasure.
Namaste Outside the US and in our Care Home
This program that started in one nursing home is now international, and can be found in Australia, Scotland, Canada, Iceland the Netherlands and throughout the United Kingdom. It can be found in care homes, residential homes, hospice programs and in the UK. Namaste rooms are also appearing in hospitals. I am delighted to see that Oatlands & Oatleigh Care Village is offering an excellent Namaste Care Program, one of the best I have ever seen. Thank you, and Namaste!”
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