NEWS -- Read the Press Release --The End of Life Namaste Care program for People with Dementia
Welcome to Namaste Care
with the positive enveloping Namaste Careapproach to advanced dementia-residential care providers, care teams, caring families and, best of all, people living with advanced dementia. Simard's wise, experienced, practical, rich, and detailed specifics interspersed with inspiring stories of small miracles make real and achievable al the abstracts ideals of dignified, compassionate quality care"...”
- Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, LCSW, Duke University
I am continuing my effort to help educate care partners both family and professionals to help people LIVE - not just exist - with an irreversible dementia like Alzheimer's disease. I do not think that keeping a person clean, fed, and groomed is living; this is merely existing. People need to be engaged in meaningful activities, they need to feel wanted, loved, need to feel as if they still can contribute. So, whenever and where ever possible, I will speak and write about this.
My relationship with Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care has grown and I am now speaking on this very subject all over the country. They have 25 programs in 19 states and 16 inpatient units, so please check with your Seasons location to see if I will be speaking in a convenient location for you. They are the only major hospice organization offering Namaste Care to their patients with advanced dementia.
The international acceptance of Namaste Care continues to grow. The international acceptance of Namaste Care continues to grow. In addition to established Namaste Care programs in Australia, Scotland and England, this year we started programs in Shalom Village, Hamilton, Ontario and Saskatoon Convalescent Home, in Saskatoon, Canada. This past February we opened the first Namaste Care program in Iceland. This fall we will begin a four year research project in the Netherlands. In the past month we have had inquiries from Singapore and Hong Kong! Truly amazing how a program that started in a nursing home located in Bennington, VT is now all over the world.
For many years I have been working with nursing homes and assisted living communities to offer three programs for their residents with memory loss. The Memory Enhancement Program (MEP) is for people with mild memory loss. This program provides the comfort of a structured day with a small circle of "friends". Staff and families find that residents who participate in this program are more verbal and happier when they become part of the MEP.
The Club focuses on meeting the physical and social needs of people with moderate dementia by engaging people in meaningful activities throughout their waking hours. We have data that shows this program lowers falls, decreases the use of psychotropic medication and increases staff and family satisfaction.
Namaste Care was originally designed for residents in nursing homes with advanced dementia who were not able to actively participate in The Club. Now it can be found in assisted living communities and hospice organizations worldwide. Namaste Care is based on the power of loving touch and is in fact, very powerful. I constantly hear stories of residents talking when they had stopped having conversations with family members. In the past few months two daughters told me that their mothers told them "I love you," words they had not heard for a very long time. So end-of-life care for people with dementia is catching on. "The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia" published by Health Professions Press is in its second edition published in May of 2013. It can be purchased from Health Professions Press and Amazon.com. In the United Kingdom and Australia, the publisher is the eurospanbookstore.com .
My primary work continues to be consulting with assisted living, long-term care facilities, and hospice organizations. Like much in my life, this was an unplanned career. As the mother of four children and short-term mom to multiple foster babies, the issues of children were my passion. But I fell in love with the elderly, especially people with dementia, the day I stepped into my first nursing facility in Ithaca, New York, and never looked back.
I have always tried to seize whatever opportunities life presented me and, as much as possible, to see opportunities in other people's obstacles. Robert Kennedy said "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" That is what I also believe.
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