Namaste Care in a hospital setting is necessarily flexible and adaptable - some patients may not be on the ward for long but can nonetheless benefit from the intervention. Namaste Care can easily be taken to the bedside as this is usually more appropriate in hospital and the person providing it is able to exercise as much imagination and inventiveness as they are capable of. The seasons of the year can be a useful hook to hang sessions on: flowers and birdsong in Spring, beach sounds and textures e.g. sand in Summer, leaves and ‘cosy’ music in Autumn and Christmassy scents and music in winter. Alternatively religious festivals if appropriate for the patient.
When I was trialling Namaste Care on Tennyson Ward for 6 months I got to see the impact on the hospital patients, staff and family members. Unfortunately due to Covid no visitors were aloud but I would call the next of kin before and after a session with their loved ones and each of them appreciated the update and took comfort in the fact that I was there to love their loved one at a difficult time. One lady comes to mind. She was at the end of her life and her husband wasn’t able to come in because he was also Covid positive. The End Of Life Team at Medway Hospital informed me that they thought she didn’t have long left. I called her husband to ask if he’d like me to say, do or play anything in particular and he shared his wishes for his wife with me, so I packed my goody box of Namaste things, put on full PPE and went straight into her side room. She wasn’t in pain but was tense. I introduce myself while taking her hand in mine. I played “I did it my way” by Frank Sinatra (as informed by her husband) and used lavender spray in the room, I had a soft moisturiser and I sat by her bed side. I started giving her a light hand massage and spoke to her about her family and informed her I have spoken with her husband and that she is so loved, she is safe and she is not alone. Her body became less tense while I was with her. I combed her hair saying how beautiful she was and I just tried my best to make her space full of calmness and love. I was with her when she took her last breath. It was very peaceful and I put that down to Namaste Care. Her husband took great comfort knowing she wasn’t on her own and that she felt loved before leaving. I then continued with Namaste Care after her passing (preparing the body for the morgue) right up until her body was collected. Namaste Care has had a tremendous impact at Medway Hospital for everyone. People who may not have heard about it have witnessed it in al it’s glory and now understand and respect Namaste Care.