The End of Life Care Program for People with Dementia
“Joyce Simard's book should
be on every dementia care specialist's reading list this year”
- Lauren S. Seifert, American Psychological Association book review.
Namaste Care is a program designed to improve the quality of life for people with advanced dementia. Namaste, is a Hindu term meaning “to honor the spirit within” and was selected to describe a program that brings honor to people who can no longer tell us who they are or who they were or care for themselves without assistance.
Namaste Care takes place in a designated space that helps to create a safe and comforting environment for all who enter; residents, their families and staff. This seven day a week program provides a wide range of meaningful activities that help bring pleasure to people with advanced dementia or that have other physical or mental impairments. Hand and foot massage, brushing or combing a persons hair with slow movements and moisturizing the ladies faces with "Ponds" cold cream, a scent they may remember from their youth, are a few ways that bring pleasure when done with a loving touch. Resistance to shaving that many men display because they do not realize that they need to be shaved disappears when shaving is accomplished the "old fashioned" way with shaving cream and "Old Spice" after shave lotion.
Scents of the season are used to provide sensory stimulation. Flowers that are in bloom, like lilacs in the spring, produce smiles as well as the scent of cinnamon in the fall and winter. Almost everyone will smile when someone is blowing bubbles or may be wearing an outlandish hat! Moving arms and legs to music helps keep limbs flexible. Nourishment and beverages are offered throughout the day so that people with a diminished appetite have more opportunities to eat and drink.
Namaste Care can be offered in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities or as part of a hospice program. For more details about this program read “The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia”.
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