Local Hospice launches new Namaste Dementia Care service to support those with advanced dementia

Categories: Care.
St Clare Hospice has launched a new, one-to-one service to support people living with advanced dementia, and their carers, across West Essex and East Hertfordshire.

Namaste Dementia Care delivers personalised, one-to-one, Namaste Care activities to people living with dementia in their own homes and in residential homes.

Namaste Care offers a person-centred approach and the service involves trained volunteers supporting people with advanced dementia to engage in meaningful activities to promote an improved quality of life.

This is the second phase of St Clare Hospice’s Namaste Dementia Care project, which originally launched in January 2021, and initially offered training in the Namaste Care techniques to unpaid carers and paid care staff in the region. This new service sees the project expand to deliver a hands-on service to local people.

Namaste Dementia Care volunteers visit weekly, for a period of up to 10 weeks, and offer a tailored package of sessions to suit the individual.

Activities used are designed to stimulate all five senses, which has been shown to really help people with dementia to connect and engage with others. Namaste Care activities can include: hand massage, music, memory boxes, poetry and gentle movement.

Compassionate Communities Manager at St Clare Hospice, Fiona Venus, oversees the project and said: “We’re delighted that we are launching this exciting new service, Namaste Dementia Care, and are able to offer a hands-on, personalised service for people living with advanced dementia.

Namaste Care is an internationally-recognised care programme, developed by Joyce Simard in the USA, for people with advanced dementia. The word ‘Namaste’ is a Hindi greeting that means to ‘honour the spirit within,’ and is the guiding principle of Namaste Care.”

“Our team of volunteers are trained in performing Namaste Care activities with people living with dementia, and teaching those activities to the person’s carer or loved one as well, so that they can use the techniques in their daily life to help them enjoy their time together.”

Namaste Care Project Co-ordinator at St Clare Hospice, Joanne Morrison, runs the project and said:

“Namaste Care really does make such a difference, and it is wonderful to see people with advanced dementia getting enjoyment and responding to the activities.

It could be something as simple as listening to a favourite piece of music, or offering a hand massage, but these small things can make a big difference. Suddenly you can see a person’s eyes light up, or they might hum along, or even respond to you. They may seem like small things, but for a person with advanced dementia and their carer, it can mean a huge amount.

Being able to encourage the family and carers to use these ideas in their everyday life, means we can support them to improve their quality of life even after the sessions have ended. And that is what I think makes it so special.”

Namaste Dementia Care is a free service for people with advanced dementia living in West Essex and East Herts, including nursing homes.

To access this service please contact Joanne Morrison on 07534 031702 or email namastecare@stclarehospice.org.uk

Find out more online: http://stclarehospice.org.uk/Namaste/

The team are looking to recruit more people to train as Namaste Dementia Care volunteers. Find out more and apply online: http://stclarehospice.org.uk/volunteervacancies/


Photo 1: Members of St Clare Hospice’s Namaste Care Dementia Support team (L-R Glad Fleet, Namaste Dementia Care Volunteer; Jo Morrison, Namaste Dementia Care Project Co-ordinator; Fiona Venus, Compassionate Communities Manager; Tracey Hall, Community Engagement and Involvement Manager)

Photo 2: Namaste Dementia Care is a free one-to-one service for people with advanced dementia – with activities including hand massage


St Clare Hospice is a charity providing specialist palliative care for people living with terminal or life- limiting illnesses across West Essex and East Herts border.

We care for patients and their families, providing physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual support, and ensuring they have timely access to skilled, compassionate and sensitive care in a place of their choice.

Our services are free of charge to those who need our care, but cost around £5 million a year to run. With limited NHS funding we need to fundraise the majority of this each year through donations and other voluntary sources.

For more information, contact our Communications Manager Rebecca Day on rebecca.day@stclarehospice.org.uk

http://stclarehospice.org.uk/stclarehospice @hospicestclare @stclarehospice

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