What does Namaste look like around the world?
Ever wondered what Namaste would look like in England?
Namaste Care really plays a big part in residential and nursing homes, as well as hospices, in England. It is woven into the fabric of so many services as a regular meaningful activity, particularly for clients on palliative and end of life care, and provide tremendous reassurance to families that their loved ones live in the best way possible until the end.
St Christopher’s Research Study
“The biggest thing Namaste has given me is a different focus when visiting mum. For many years now mum hasn’t been able to communicate with us and conversation has been one sided which is difficult and at times she appeared to barely realize I was there. I now know to do other things as well as talk to mum like show her old photos, brush her hair, feed her treats, and moisturise her face and hands. This makes spending time with her easier and I feel I’m making more of a connection with her and a difference in her life”
“From my mother’s point of view …(Namaste) has been wonderful. She is so much more healthy now. I don’t know why, but she is different. She is more alive, even though she can’t do anything for herself at all.”
I first heard of Namaste Care 11 years ago when Joyce Simard visited the UK. I loved the ideas I read about in her book, but I wasn’t sure that the care programme would work in the UK. Through the St Christopher’s research study and my involvement in many care homes I have learned to expect that Namaste Care will have a positive impact on the care of people living with advanced dementia and enhance their quality of life.
Most people with dementia respond positively to the gentle, loving touch approach, and benefit from the calm atmosphere of Namaste Care sessions. I have seen many people who have not spoken for months try to use language again, make eye contact and smile more, and people who were agitated, relaxing and engaging with an activity.
Family members appreciate the care given in Namaste, many enjoy getting involved in Namaste Care sessions, and some feel Namaste has helped them to connect more closely with the person they love. Most care home staff enjoy Namaste Care too, appreciating the benefits of Namaste for the people they care for, enjoying the chance to give the kind of tactile, gentle care they have always wanted to, and often discovering a creativity they have not found before in their caring role.
Namaste Care is genuinely within reach of all care homes: it is inexpensive and easy. Namaste has spread across the UK and across the globe in the 11 years that I have been involved. I would like to see Namaste Care offered wherever there are people living with advanced dementia, making comfort, pleasure, and meaningful connection a part of their everyday experience.
Min Stacpoole - England
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.