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Namaste Care Programme

Posted on June 6, 2012 by admin There have been 0 comments

I've just come across an article on the BBC website called Namaste, meaning "to honour the spirit within.

The programme has been developed for care home residents with severe dementia who can no longer speak up for themselves. They may be immobile, and prone to infections. They often have difficulty swallowing, and may suffer from pain.

The programme is designed to provide residents living with advanced dementia in residential care with meaningful activities through therapeutic touch, & music. The Namaste Care Programme is on trial at several care homes in South London.

We often talk about best practice for those people living with advanced dementia. But as this article points out, despite the best intentions of care home staff they tend to focus on the physical needs of many residents with the later stages of dementia. Keeping them pain free, & ensuring they're well hydrated takes priority.

But how often do we stop to think if a resident has had a smile from a knowing face or the gentle stroke of a warm hand? We all crave human touch. Imagine if the only moments you felt human touch was when you were being showered, toileted and dressed.

Many residents with advanced dementia are left alone isolated in their room or chair. Despite the best medical care, it can be easy to ignore the emotional needs of someone who can't speak up.

The Namaste Care Programme emphasises the value of the human spirit and the uniqueness of each resident. Residents are not left alone but embraced and surrounded by others. The Namaste Care Programme uses aromatherapy, music and reading to connect with a resident.

At the heart of the programme is the notion that we all need a loving touch. If we learn to approach the routine requirements of day to day life in a loving and meaningful way, a once common place task can become an act of compassion.

I really hope the programme is adopted by more care homes in the UK.

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