The innovative Namaste Care program helps facilities provide gentle end-of-life care, especially for residents with advanced dementia. Because of their profound losses, these individuals are often isolated with limited human contact during the final stages of their lives. This new program reveals simple and practical ways for direct care staff to provide holistic, person-centered care and maintain a human connection. Blending nursing care and meaningful activities, the program promotes peaceful and relaxing end-of-life experiences for older adults. Sensory-based practices, like placement in comfortable armchairs, soothing music, and gentle massage, emphasize comfort and pleasure. Personal information is used to individualize the experiences, making them as enjoyable as possible for participants. Developed by a geriatric social worker and dementia specialist, the program stresses dignity and respect at this vulnerable stage of life. Namaste Care will benefit facilities by improving residents’ quality of life providing programming that meets current regulations for meaningful activities supporting culture change initiatives enhancing opportunities for family involvement and strengthening staff morale Using this practical manual, nursing facilities can easily implement a Namaste Care program with minimal resources and training. Step-by-step advice for staffing, budgeting, and marketing a program is included. Detailed information for creating a Namaste Care room is provided, as well as alternative options for facilities with limited space. Plus, real-life vignettes illustrate the program in practice. Recognizing the spirit within each person, this unique approach is valuable for all settings providing end-of-life care, especially skilled nursing facilities, assisted living settings, and hospices. Namaste is a Hindi greeting honoring the spirit within a person.
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