Are you caring for a family member with advanced dementia? Then you may be interested in this special programme for women dementia carers which begins at Derry Well Women on Monday 6th November.

The Namaste programme will provide dementia carers with the skills and supports they need to give comfort to their loved ones, says DWW manager Susan Gibson. “This is the second time we have run the programme, which was introduced in April of this year.”

The programme will run over 7weeks from 1.30-3.30pm every Monday and will be facilitated by a MacMillan Palliative Care Facilitator and a Complementary Therapist.  Susan says dementia carers who took part in the first programme gained a lot from taking part.

“Certain Foods brought back fond memories for my mum,” said one participant. Another said she hadn’t realised how important it was to have an environment filled with fond memories. She added that these included items such as pictures, smells and mementos from the past.

Others who took part said it gave them a “better grounding on the needs and attitudes required to be a carer.”

Susan Gibson says that Derry Well Women is “delivering the Namaste programme in partnership with the Western Health and Social Care Trust.  ‘Namaste’ is an Indian greeting which means ‘to honour the spirit within’.”

The care programme is multi-dimensional, including physical, sensory and emotional elements. The purpose of Namaste Care is to give comfort to people with advanced dementia through sensory stimulation, especially the use of touch.

Namaste Care is a structured programme, developed by Joyce Simard in the US, which integrates compassionate nursing care with individualised activities for people with advanced dementia in a group setting.

The course will enable carers to experience ways of communicating through touch, sight, smell, taste and sound (the 5 senses) when verbal communication has broken down.

Namaste Care increases the length of time that a carer can spend engaging and connecting with their loved one with advanced dementia.It also provides a possible solution to meeting their sensory and emotional needs and enriching their quality of life.

If you are interested in taking part in the Programme, please contact Patricia or Oonagh at Derry Well Women on 02871360777