South Africa Lodge in Waterlooville is offering treatments such as hand and foot massages, shaving and haircare, together with music therapy and pet therapy in the dedicated room in its 94-bed home.
The treatments follow the principles of Namaste care by offering a calm environment and an unhurried, loving touch approach. ‘Namaste’ means ‘to honour the spirit within’ and the therapies aim to stimulate the five senses to enrich residents’ quality of life.
The home, which is run by Cornerstone Healthcare, cares for people with complex neurological, physical and mental health needs associated with challenging behaviours.
Research has shown Namaste massage has the potential to make people more alert and responsive, more relaxed and less agitated.
“We wanted to create a calming and intimate space for our residents,” said CEO, Johann van Zyl.
“The Namaste room is very relaxing and the gentle physical contact has particular benefits for those residents who are non-verbal – the need to be touched is universal and the massage in particular helps them feel connected and reduces any sense of isolation they may have.
“This is also a space where conversations about a person’s care and their quality of life can be had more comfortably than in an office, particularly when those conversations have to cover end of life care.”
The Namaste room also offers doll therapy, beauty treatments and a space for residents take part in light exercise.
It was opened by Marion Howe whose husband, John, is a resident at South Africa Lodge.
“It’s the most beautiful space,” she said. “I feel completely at ease when I come in here and John really enjoys the hand massages.
“I feel they’ve created an environment where we can get to know each other better. The more the staff can understand John and his needs, the better they can care for him and I find that very reassuring.”
Dara Ni Ghadhra, COO of Cornerstone Healthcare, praised Naomi Edge, the General Manager for South Africa Lodge, and her team for this initiative.
“The Namaste Room has been created by our Activities Lead, Sue Hawkins, who is responsible for the training of our day and night staff in the different massage techniques. The room is just one example of Sue’s passion for improving the lives of our residents”.