ENRICHEnabling Research in Care Homes
Improving quality of life for people with dementia living in care homes
Professor Katherine Froggatt is Chief Investigator on the Namaste Trial, an NIHR funded study into improving care for people living with dementia. She explains what the trial involves and the different stages on the research pathway:
Tell us about the Namaste Trial and what it aims to achieve.
Our study looks into improving the quality of life for people with advanced dementia living in nursing homes. Residents can often feel isolated at a time when they are in their final months of life. We are looking at whether offering residents a structured programme of care called the Namaste Care programme improves their lives. Namaste involves offering residents a regular programme of activities in a dedicated space in the nursing home to create a safe and comforting environment. A series of personalised sensory activities, such as hand massage, listening to soothing sounds, touching and feeling objects, and regular snacks and drinks are offered in regular sessions throughout the week.
Previous evidence from staff and family members suggests this type of care is beneficial for residents who can appear calmer and more responsive. Families say relatives receiving this care programme will smile, when before they were not expressing pleasure.
However, previous studies into its effectiveness have been small scale and there have not been any clinical trials to ascertain the extent to which it impacts upon a person’s quality of life.
For the full article, please visit the NIHR’s website.