St Clare Hospice offers training and support for dementia carers

Charity / Tue 19th Jan 2021 at 09:54am

ST Clare Hospice is running an introductory course in Namaste Dementia care for unpaid carers, who are caring for people living with advanced dementia.

The Introduction to Namaste Dementia Care for carers is running, via Zoom, on two dates in February: Wednesday 10th February 2021, 10am – 12noon and Tuesday 23rd February, 7pm-9pm (carers only need to attend one of these).

The Namaste Care Dementia Support project, which has been made possible thanks to funding from the Essex Community Fund, is a pilot project which aims to train and empower carers to deliver high-quality, compassionate care to local people living with advanced dementia.

The free online training will also help carers to build a peer support network, so they can share their experiences with other carers in West Essex and East Hertfordshire. Current figures suggest a rise in dementia cases in both Essex and Hertfordshire*, meaning more carers will be looking for advice and support in the coming months and years.

Community Engagement Manager at St Clare Hospice, Sally Muylders, is leading the project and said: “The Introduction to Namaste Dementia Care training course will give carers information about Namaste Care, inspiration to get started and tools to do it at home to the person they care for. Most importantly, it will connect them with others in a similar caring situation.”

“This pilot project will be delivered virtually because of COVID, but we see this is an advantage because we know that those caring for people with dementia are some of the most isolated in our communities, and this will offer an opportunity to bring them together and offer support – at a time when we’ve had to stay apart.”

Namaste Care is an internationally-recognised care programme which teaches you to use simple activities that include sensory stimulation of our five senses (touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste) to help people with dementia connect and engage with others.

The word ‘Namaste’ is a Hindi greeting that means to ‘honour the spirit within,’ and is the guiding principle of Namaste Care.

Multi-sensory activities can involve music, food and drink and can also include therapeutic touch and massage. These basic principles are simple to learn and easy to put into practice when caring for someone with dementia.

The Introduction to Namaste Care course offers:

Insight into how to support people with advanced dementia to live well, and with dignity, until the end of life
Techniques to help carers offer and provide Namaste Care to the people they support
An opportunity to meet and connect with other carers
Ongoing support, and monthly meetings with Namaste Champions and peers from the training course
Advice and guidance from trained Namaste Champions at St Clare Hospice
Following on from this introductory course, attendees will be invited to join a Namaste Network Group, where they will be able to share their experiences, and successes from putting Namaste care into practice.
Part of the training course will include providing attendees with a Namaste Care box of resources, to enable them to practice Namaste Care techniques with the person they care for. One of those items will be a ‘Twiddlemuff’ – a knitted, handheld comforter that offers a special way to engage and comfort a person with dementia, who often have restless hands. Twiddlemuffs provide a great source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation, whilst keeping the hands busy, as well as warm.

St Clare Hospice is appealing for local people to knit and donate Twiddlemuffs to be distributed through the Namaste Care programme. You can find more details, and download a free knitting pattern, on their website: stclarehospice.org.uk/Namaste-care-dementia-support

For more information and to book a place on the course, visit the Eventbrite booking pages:

Wednesday 10th February (daytime), 10am-12noon): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-namaste-dementia-care-for-carers-tickets-133686659397

Tuesday 23rd February (evening, 7-9pm): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-namaste-dementia-care-for-carers-tickets-137300811423

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