A dementia specialist care home in Manchester has completed it’s 6-month trial of Namaste Care, a ground-breaking programme of care created by Joyce Simard from the United States, that focuses on engaging with each individual person’s senses through sound, touch, smell, taste and sight.
EachStep Blackley, which is part of national social care charity Community Integrated Care, was one of 8 care homes that took part in the research trial which began in January 2018. The trial is investigating the possibility of using this approach to care for people living with advanced dementia in care homes.
Namaste Care is ideally provided 7 days a week, with 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. The main aim is to personalise each individual’s care, and this approach may include sensory activities such as hand massages or handling items relevant to the person’s interests.
Initial research suggests that this type of care provides comfort for people with advanced dementia and increases staff and family satisfaction with care. The sessions then took place daily consisting of daily, intensive, sensory activity sessions with a view to improving the quality of life for the people we support throughout their journey.
Frankie Conroy, Activity Coordinator from EachStep Blackley who has participated in the study, commented on its success saying, “The people we support who took part in the project really enjoyed it. I think that some of the sensory sessions will continue across our households, even though we have now finished the study.”
The Namaste Trial has been conducted by researchers at Lancaster University in collaboration with researchers from the University of Hertfordshire, University of Bristol, University of Liverpool Clinical Trials Research Centre and St. Christopher’s Hospice. The project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.
The results of the study are due in March 2019.