The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), in partnership with Derry Well Women Centre have recently completed a pilot programme for women carers who have a family member with end stage dementia.
The Namaste Care programme integrates compassionate nursing care with individualised activities for people with advances dementia in a group setting.
The care programme is multi-dimensional, and includes physical, sensory and emotional elements.
The purpose of Namaste Care is to give comfort and pleasure to people with advanced dementia through sensory stimulation, especially the use of touch.
Central to this approach is a recognition that residents with severe dementia are terminally ill, and so the priority is to provide peace and comfort through palliative care.
The programme delivered in Derry Well Women centre provided local Carers with the skills and support they need to give comfort and pleasure to their loved ones with severe dementia.
The course enabled Carers to experience ways of communicating through touch, sight, smell, taste and sound senses when verbal communication has broken down.
Commenting on the programme, Maria Magee, Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator for the Western Trust said: “The programme has been a great success to date. Each Carer received an individual assessment to assess both their needs and the person they care for and the programme was designed around those needs.
She added: “Namaste Care increases the length of time that a Carer can spend engaging and connecting with their loved one with advanced dementia and provides a possible solution to meeting their sensory and emotional needs and enriching their quality of life.”