Objectives To evaluate the feasibility, facilitators of and barriers to delivering Namaste Care by volunteers and family carers to community-dwelling people with dementia, and to map family carers and volunteers’ experiences with the programme.
Design Qualitative interview study with two phases: (1) preparation phase; (2) pilot phase.
Setting Private residences of community-dwelling people with dementia in the UK and the Netherlands.
Participants Family carers and volunteers of community-dwelling people with dementia (phase 1: 36 Dutch interviews, phase 2: 9 Dutch and 16 UK interviews).
Intervention Namaste Care is a multicomponent psychosocial programme, originally developed for people with dementia residing in long-term care facilities. Meaningful activities were offered by carers and volunteers. Each person with dementia was offered 10 one-hour sessions.
Results Phase 1: Namaste Care was deemed feasible for community-dwelling people with dementia and no major adaptations to the programme were considered necessary. Phase 2: perceived effects of Namaste Care on people with dementia included improved mood and increased interaction. The programme appeared enriching for both family carers and volunteers, providing joy, respite from care and new insights for coping with challenging behaviour. A flexible attitude of the Namaste provider facilitated its delivery. High caregiver burden and a strained relationship between the family carer and person with dementia were considered barriers. Experiences of family carers and volunteers with Namaste Care were very positive (mean satisfaction rating: 8.7 out of 10, SD=0.9, range 7–10).
Conclusion We recommend offering Namaste Care delivered by volunteers, preferably multiple sessions per week of 1.5–2 hours to optimise quality of life of community-dwelling people with dementia. Working with well-matched, flexible Namaste providers is pivotal. Family involvement should be encouraged, although the extent should be adapted depending on preference, caregiver burden and the relationship between the family carer and the person with dementia.
Trial registration number NL5570
- Namaste Care
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors JvdS, HJAS, KJJ and AF designed the preparation phase. JvdS and HJAS designed the pilot study. CO'D coordinated the data collection in the UK. HJAS and CO'D collected the data. JvdS, WPA and KJJ provided feedback on the initial analyses done by HJAS in the preparation phase. HJAS and MLH conducted the analyses and drafted the initial version of the manuscript. MLH is the guarantor. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the data and revised the manuscript for intellectual content.
Funding This study was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (grant number: 733050302), Fonds NutsOhra (grant number: 1405-181) and the University Network for the Care Sector South Holland.
Competing interests HJAS became the associate director of Namaste Care International (non-financial association) after the data collection was completed and the data were analysed.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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