The End-of-Life Namaste Care program for people with Dementia

end of life namaste care program for people with dementia

The Second Edition of The End of Life Namaste Care™ program for People with Dementia is now available! This second edition features chapters on adapting Namaste Care™ for hospice organizations and assisted living. This edition includes new, international developments in Namaste Care™, including work in Australia with the University of Sydney and in the United Kingdom (UK) with St. Christopher's Hospice in London. Books can be ordered through Health Professions Press &

The book is available for purchase online in the United States, Europe, and Australia

Foreward from the Second Edition by Ladislav Volicer, M.D., PhD., F.A.A.N., F.G.S.A

Publication of the first edition of The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia encouraged many health care providers to reassess how to care for individuals with advanced dementia. Although Namaste Care was originally intended for implementation in long-term care facilities, the program has since been adapted in other settings where individuals with advanced dementia live, specifically assisted living communities and hospices. This second edition is a result of the expansion of Namaste Care and the popularity of the first edition.

Since the publication of the first edition, Namaste Care programs have been successfully implemented throughout the United States as well as in Australia, England, Scotland, and Greece. One large assisted living organization in the U.S., Arden Courts, chose to incorporate Namaste Care into all of its facilities. A hospice or¬ganization, Season's Hospice, is using the Namaste Care approach in all of its facilities as well, under its own customized name - Touch for All Seasons. The success of Namaste Care was also reflected in the selection of Joyce Simard, M.S.W., as one of Provider magazine's "20 to Watch" in 2013 for her compassion and commitment to providing quality of life at the end of life for individuals with advanced dementia.

Namaste Care is an enlightened program that strives to maintain the highest quality of life possible for individuals with severe and terminal dementia. This care involves the creation of a special room that provides a quiet, peaceful environment for residents in the last stage of the disease. Meaningful activities are individualized for each resident and continuous presence of staff members provides both physical and sensory stimulation. Namaste Care does not require additional staff, just some rethinking of staff assignments, and can be implemented with minimal programming cost. This "high-touch " care can be taught to all staff as well as to family members. The family members in particular appreciate the attention given to their loved ones.

I am sure that publication of this second edition of The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia will encourage many more long-term care facilities, assisted living communities, and hospices to pay greater attention to individuals with advanced dementia as well as other terminal diseases and conditions. The book will hopefully serve as an important road map in this effort because it describes in detail how the program can be implemented, how the Namaste Care team is established, how an appropriate Namaste Care environment is created, and what the day's activities could look like. In addition, the book discusses decision making at the end of life and what is meant by "comfort care." An understanding of death and dying and the need for care after death are also provided. Finally, the appendices include useful resources for establishing a Namaste Care program.

Namaste Care provides residents and their families with quality care that addresses not only physical but also emotional and spiritual needs. It reminds us that individuals with advanced demen¬tia should not be isolated in their rooms, but instead need to live their last days in a pleasant environment receiving loving care from all staff and families.

Review by Marlene S. Foreman, BSN, MN, Hospice of Acadiana, Inc.


Namaste is a Hindu term meaning "to honor the spirit within." This book describes the use of a Namaste Care program in facilities that care for residents with advanced dementia. By using case studies of real people, the book provides insight into what can be done to assist persons with dementia to live fully. The author states that this second edition includes updated information, current language for describing various caregivers, and covers more countries using the program.


The first edition, published in 2007, encouraged health professionals to reassess how individuals with dementia are treated. The second edition focuses on enhancing the care of persons with dementia in long-term care facilities and hospices. The book enables readers to develop their own programs or at least use some of the examples to provide excellent care to their residents or even their own families.


This book is easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to use to apply the principles and examples of care. Any family member caring for a loved one with dementia would find this book just as valuable as the healthcare student or professional. Physicians, nurses, social workers, and long-term care administrators would find this book an excellent resource. The author is very knowledgeable, and is an active participant in the Namaste Care program.


It is really hard to describe everything that is in this book. It begins with some historical facts about Alzheimer's, progresses through early dementia care, and then discusses recent developments. The Namaste Care program occupies the majority of the book, describing specific behaviors and how they are addressed using the Namaste way. Examples include ways to enhance memory, the senses of smell and taste, changes of the seasons, and honoring an individual's past occupation or activities. The best part of the book lies in the explicit descriptions of the methods used. This part is so engrossing that I forgot I was reading the book to review it. I was lost in the case studies and could visualize how effective a Namaste Care program would be. The appendix includes specific tools and the index allows readers to locate specific ideas and topics easily.


As a hospice nurse and caregiver for my father who had dementia before he died, I was able to read this book with the insight of one who has "been there" and understands the magnitude of the problems faced by loved ones and professional caregivers. I wish I had known of this book (the first edition) when I was caring for my father. Since I am not sure how much has changed since the first edition, I can only assume that due to the wealth of new information in healthcare in the intervening years, this valuable resource has updated information and new examples. The Namaste Care program also has expanded to many countries and the inclusion of additional case studies is important.