Multisensory approaches and programmes have been developed to improve the quality of both life and dying for people with advanced dementia. However, little is known about the experiences of staff, family and others involved in the use of these programmes, and in the relevant education provided to improve the quality of life of residents living with advanced dementia in long-term care homes.
The aim of this study was to explore early experiences associated with the implementation of a new programme called ‘Namaste Care’ in two Canadian long-term care homes.
A multiple methods design was used. This included a survey to evaluate a 2-day education programme and qualitative description of interview data that explored experiences during the first 3 months of implementation.
Survey respondents included 44 long-term care staff and 44 others (primarily family) who had attended a 2-day training session or public lecture. Interviews were undertaken with 18 staff, 5 family members and 2 volunteers to generate qualitative descriptions about the last 3 months of implementation of the 2-day education programme. The majority of those who attended training rated this as excellent and affirmed that they now understood the purpose of ‘Namaste Care’. Most endorsed that they had learned some essentials of ‘Namaste Care’ delivery. The majority of those who attended the public lecture were very satisfied with the education, and better understood how this novel programme could be implemented in long-term care. Qualitative description of interview data revealed that participants were positive about ‘Namaste Care’ in long-term care, and identified both barriers and facilitators to implementation as well as recommendations to help with future implementation.
These study findings support the use of a facility-wide educational programme to help launch a new innovation in long-term care.