Supporting John’s Campaign – increasing awareness of dementia
Alice House Hospice have pledged to support John’s Campaign, a campaign which encourages healthcare providers to make a pledge to support patients and their families living with Dementia.
Alice House Hospice have a Specialist Nurse – Dementia, Linzi Stafford, who joined the charity in October 2017 and her aim at that time was to promote education, provide specialist support and advice services and encourage recognition of the unique requirements of a patient with Dementia. “Dementia” symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Sufferers often experience problems communicating becoming increasingly withdrawn and isolated.
Linzi has already run a pilot Namaste Care Volunteer Training Course giving delegates guidance on the aims and elements of Namaste Care including, the impact of sensory stimulation and massage, the power of music, means of pain assessment and the use of food and drink treats. Music, in particular, unlocks memories in all of us and is a cornerstone of the Namaste Program. We all need touch as part of our need to be cared for, loved, nurtured and valued but many Dementia patients are starved of “touch”. Although carers touch patients every day whilst washing and dressing, in Namaste Care touch, for example, a hand rub or massage, can be used to great effect to express affection and reassurance.
Namaste Care is a structured programme developed in the USA by Joyce Simard which integrates compassionate nursing care with individualised activities. Namaste is an Indian greeting “to honour the spirit within” and the main aim of Namaste Care is to provide meaningful activity, comfort and pleasurable experiences for people living with Dementia.
Great feedback plus positive results seen after the delivery of Namaste care such as reduced agitation, increased responsiveness, improved nutritional intake and improved sleep patterns highlighted the need for further training in the community prompting Alice House Hospice to make a successful application for funding to TSB Local Community Fund to run a further 4 Namaste Care Volunteer Training Courses throughout 2019. Namaste care is easy to implement, requires no expensive equipment – mainly oils, music, towels are required – and most importantly can bring enjoyment and pleasure back to a blighted life.
For more information about services at Alice House Hospice visit the Patients & Carers section of this website.