Article Abstract

Introducing Namaste Care to the hospital environment: a pilot study

Authors: Kimberley St John, Jonathan Koffman

Abstract

Background: The rising prevalence of dementia is im-pacting on acute hospitals and placing increased expectations on health and social care professionals to improve the support and services they are delivering. It has been recommended that good practice in dementia care relies on adopting a palliative ap-proach to care and meeting people’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. Increased dementia training for staff that includes initiatives that promote dignity; enhancing communication skills and recognizing that a person with dementia may be approaching the end of their lives are needed. Our study aim was to explore whether Namaste Care is an acceptable and effective service for people with advanced dementia being cared for on an acute hospital ward.
Methods: This was an exploratory qualitative interview, pilot study. Individual, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with hospital healthcare staff working in an area of the hospital where Namaste Care had been im-plemented. Data were analysed using the framework approach.
Results: Eight interviews were completed with members of the multidisciplinary ward team. Two themes were identified: (I) difficulties estab-lishing relationships with people with dementia in hospital (subthemes: lack of time and resources, lack of confidence leading to fear and anxiety); (II) the benefits of a Namaste Care service in an acute hospital setting (subthemes: a reduction in agitated behavior; connecting and communicating with patients with dementia using the senses; a way of showing people with dementia they are cared for and valued).
Conclusions: This small-scale study indicates that Namaste Case has the potential to im-prove the quality of life of people with advanced dementia being cared for in an acute hospital setting. However, further research is required to explore more specifically its benefits in terms of improved symptom management and wellbeing of people with dementia on acute hospitals wards.

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