Joyce has many years of experience in health care settings as a social worker and dementia care specialist. She graduated with honours from Ithaca College in New York, USA and received a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota. Joyce has been in the long-term care industry since 1978, working with large healthcare organisations to provide services for nursing facilities and assisted living communities. She is recognised for developing innovative programs for people with all levels of memory loss and has developed “The Memory Enhancement Program” for people in the early stage, The Club for nursing home residents in the middle stage of a dementing illness and Namaste Care™ for people in the advanced stage of dementia. Joyce has authored numerous books, articles and chapters on dementia-related issues and is widely in demand as a speaker throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Rishi is director of the Jawa Group in London, UK, and manages Oatlands & Oatleigh Care Village, a specialist elderly dementia care facility for 99 residents. Rishi is passionate about quality of care delivery and his role is pivotal to the company’s success. Every aspect of the care provided demonstrates a firm commitment to this ethos. The company has been a finalist in the best care home and lifetime achievement categories of the National Dementia Care Awards and also holds Silver Investors in People accreditation. Rishi is a pioneer in the field of care management software and has launched ‘Care Vision’ an innovative cloud-based app for use specifically in the care home setting.
Gillian is senior administrator at the Jawa Group of dementia care homes in London, UK, with specific responsibility for quality assurance and regulatory compliance. She has an extensive background in healthcare public relations, communication and academic administration. Gillian has held senior executive positions with the Optical Information Council, the Eyecare Information Service, Specsavers Optical Group and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. She is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and a Millennium Founder Freeman of the Company of Public Relations Practitioners. Within the Jawa Group Gillian also facilitates clinical placements, manages projects and events, and oversees the company’s continuing ‘Investors in People’ journey.
Dr Ladislav Volicer
Ladislav received his MD from the Charles University Medical School and PhD from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic. He was Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School in Boston, MA and Clinical Director of the Geriatric Research Center in the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA. Twenty five years ago Ladislav established one of the first Dementia Special Care Units and introduced the concept of structured palliative care for patients with advanced dementia. Goals of care on these units are quality of life, dignity and comfort instead of prolongation of life at all costs. He is recognised as an international expert on advanced dementia care and has spoken many times at national and international conferenced. Ladislav is currently the Courtesy Full Professor at the School of Ageing Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fl, Visiting Professor at the 3rd Medical Faculty, Prague, Czech Republic and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Sydney
Christina Cosgrove, LICSW, is the Director of the Social Service department at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington, VT, where she has been employed for over 20 years. Christina was instrumental in developing “Namaste” with Joyce Simard, MSW in 2001. Christina received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan where she also graduated with a specialty in geriatrics certification. Christina represented the field of Social Work on the Vermont Governor’s Commission for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for over 10 years. Christina lives in Rupert, VT and enjoys reading, music and walks in nature.
Sara is a Lecturer in Nursing at the Sydney-based campus of the University of Tasmania. Her clinical background is in palliative care nursing in which she has wide-ranging experience across acute, specialist and residential aged care. Sara’s research interests include care of the older person, palliative care and the teaching of palliative care philosophy and principles to nursing students and nurses. Sara’s PhD research through Western Sydney University’s Aged Care and Palliation research stream focused on the residential aged care workforce and palliation. Sara was project officer on the first funded research project in Australia to evaluate Namaste Care in residential aged care facilities. Currently, Sara is leading a project to implement and evaluate the benefits of Namaste Care in an aged care ward within a teaching hospital in Greater Sydney.
Sheila Gordon is a registered nurse with additional studies in gerontology. She has been working in the long term care sector since 1982. First as a unit nurse and then as director of care with multiple organizations, she found her true nursing passion in working with the elderly. Over time Sheila has seen the care of the elderly evolve into a specialty in its own right. While celebrating improvements in quality of life for those in care, it was evident to her the needs of everyone were still not being met. In 2016 Sheila embraced the opportunity to participate in and lead Namaste Care for end stage dementia residents at Saskatoon Convalescent Home in Saskatchewan, Canada.She is very excited to share and learn and grow through Namaste Care International.
Simona expounds business professionals in corporate companies to help meaningfully and non-profit organisations to think in business-like ways. Through consultations, mentoring, external project management, she collaborates with projects that have decided to professionalize their activities and with companies that have decided to share their success and support high quality socially responsible organisations. With her social worker education she is able to combine the heart of a social worker and the brain of a manager. For her, Namaste care is not just a technique for patients but also the key to professionalize and support teams in care homes and to strengthen dignity in the social sphere. For patients, for nurses, for care givers, for all.
After leaving universityMin worked as an auxiliary nurse at St Christopher’s Hospice, London subsequently training as a registered nurse in Cardiff and then specialising in care of older people. She managed a “long stay” ward at Colindale Hospital while working part time as a research assistant with Professor Dame June Clarke at Middlesex University. Min returned to St Christopher’s Hospice as a staff nurse, then worked in the community as a palliative care CNS for 10 years. During this time she studied for an MSc in palliative care at King’s College, London. In 2009 she moved to work as Nurse Facilitator for End of Life Care for People with Dementia with the Modernisation Initiative’s End of life Care programme (Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charity). In 2011, she returned to St Christopher’s to work with the Care Home Project Team as nurse researcher for the Namaste Care Programme Action Research Study. She worked at St Christopher’s Hospice, between the education department and the community palliative care service for frail older people, until 2015. Min has continued to teach on the Namaste Care programme and palliative care for people with dementia, lecturing nationally and internationally.
Lena started working as a social worker in a small municipality of the island of Crete. Since 2007 she has worked in close care settings with elderly people and people with dementia. Lena is now assistant director of two units, ‘Hliaxtida’ (meaning sunshine’for people with dementia and ‘Irida’ (colours of the rainbow) for elderly people with chronic diseases and serious health problems. She is responsible for client admissions, activity programmes, staff education and practical trainingof university nursing and social work students and also supports and educates relatives caring for the elderly.With a special interest in design, organisation and implementation of activities for the elderly,Lena is constantly searching for new ways to improve the quality of life of elderly people living in close care settings. She is one of the first members of the Alzheimer’s Association in her home city of Heraklion. Lena is an expert speaker educating the public on dementia issues and is a member of a scientific team implementing memory enhancement programmes for dementia patients. She is also a member of a new association – “Reading for Others” – and is responsible for its volunteer training.Lena is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health and Social Medicine at the Medical University of Greece.
Elfa graduated from the University of Iceland with a BSc in Nursing. She subsequently gained a Masters degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, specialising in Geriatric and Palliative care. During graduate school she worked as project assistant for Professor Karin Kirchhof on end of life research. Elfa completed an internship in advance practice nursing at the University of Iceland. She was a research assistant at the University of Iceland and undertook a supervising course in geriatric nursing. Elfa is currently Clinical Nurse Specialist, Landspítali and Adjunct in Geriatric Nursing, University of Iceland.
Professor Vivien Coates
Professor Vivien Coates is jointly appointed between Ulster University, the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) in Northern Ireland and the Florence Nightingale Foundation, UK. The focus of her work is in the management of long-term conditions, from both the perspectives of health care professionals and those living with the condition. She leads the Research Centre: Managing Chronic Illness, in which she has a specific interest in developing the evidence base for the management of diabetes. Within the WHSCT her remit is to develop evidence based practice. Currently she leads a range of research projects and service innovations particularly relating to care of those with dementia and diabetes. She has developed person and public involvement (PPI) partnerships consulting about research ideas and priorities through to involvement in data gathering, in conjunction with a range of agencies including Diabetes UK. She has experience in a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including the design and management of clinical trials for complex behavioural interventions, including process evaluation.
Dr Hanneke Smaling
Hanneke Smaling has Master’s degrees in Clinical Neuropsychology and Organizational Psychology. She did her PhD from 2011-2016 at Leiden University. Hanneke works one day a week as an assistant professor at the department of clinical neurodevelopment studies at Leiden University. She also works four days a week as a postdoctoral researcher at the VU medical center in Amsterdam on the research project ‘Effects on quality of life and family caregiving experience by the Namaste Care Family program for advanced dementia’. For this study, Hanneke has trained nursing staff of ten nursing homes in the Netherlands and helped them implement Namaste Care in their homes.
Dr Lorna Reid
Lorna has responsibility for a range of educational outreach programmes to care homes. She was the project lead for the Abbey Pain Scale Project, the SPAR (Supportive and Palliative Action Register) Project in 12 local care homes and the Namaste Care Pilot Project. From this work Lorna also developed the first Namaste Care Course to be offered in Scotland, which is now delivered twice a year in partnership with Ayrshire Hospice. Lorna graduated from Napier University with a PhD in 2017. Her study explored the social organisation of advance care planning conversations in a Residential Care Home which put complex decision-making conversations firmly but inappropriately into the hands of Senior Social Care Workers. Her specific areas of interest are, promoting comfort and hope through Namaste Care, palliative care in care homes and communication skills. She is an accredited trainer for Sage & Thyme® Communication Skills and a facilitator of advanced communication skills training (Trained by Maguire Communication Skills Unit, Christie School of Oncology, Manchester).