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Launching Namaste Care in Canada: Evaluation of a Facility-Wide Education Program to Improve End-of-Life Care in Advanced Dementia

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  • Sharon Kaasalainen
  • Paulette Hunter
  • Vanina Dal Bello Haas
  • Lisa Dolovich
  • Maureen Markle-Reid
  • Jenny Ploeg
  • Lehana Thabane
  • Katherine Froggatt
  • Thomas Hadjistavropoulos
  • Joyce Simard
  • Jenny van der Steen
  • Ladislav Volicer
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number6
Number of pages1
Pages (from-to)e53
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date7/12/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English



Residents living and dying in long-term care (LTC) homes represent one of society’s most frail and marginalized populations of older adults, particularly those residents with advanced dementia who are often excluded from activities that promote quality in their last months of life. This presentation will provide an overview of: (a) an innovative program, called Namaste Care, for residents who are dying with dementia; and (b) a facility-wide education program that was conducted to launch the program in Canada.


This study used a multiple methods survey design to evaluate the education program that was conducted in two LTC homes in Canada; one each of Ontario and Saskatchewan. The education program consisted of multiple sessions over a 2-day period for staff as well as an open public lecture for family, friends and others. We collected survey data from 44 LTC staff (e.g., personal support workers, licensed nurses, recreation staff), 25 in Ontario and 19 in Saskatchewan; and 44 family members and others (n= 21 from Ontario, 23 from Saskatchewan).


The majority of participants rated the training program as excellent, stating “it’s just basic human care”. All participants stated that they now understand the purpose of Namaste Care. Most participants stated that they learned how to interact with residents in the Namaste room and the types of programming that are offered. Similarly, participants who attended the public lecture stated that they were very satisfied with the education, stating that the public lecture helped them learn more about how the program can be implemented. Participants in both groups suggested having follow-up sessions with a ‘report back’ about how the program impacts resident outcomes.


These study findings support the use of a facility-wide educational program to help launch a new innovation in LTC. The majority of participants were very satisfied with the education, providing suggestions for ongoing engagement throughout the implementation process.