Namaste Care: Research Results.Name : Dr. Ladislav Volicer
Affliation : Professor
University : University Of South Florida
Country : USA
Namaste Care is an enhanced nursing program developed by Professor Joyce Simard, MSW for persons with advanced dementia. Its goal is to increase quality of life. This presentation will summarize research results from several countries, Australia, United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Research results showed that Involvement in Namaste Care increased quality of life in residents with dementia and improved behavioral symptoms of dementia. Loving touch, which is one of the main components of Namaste Care, made residents more accepting touch necessary for their daily care, resulting in less rejection of care. This change made caring for these residents easier for staff and allowed decrease of antipsychotic and hypnotic medications. Residents in Namaste Care program benefited also from modifications of their environment. They became more verbal and this change improved quality of visits of family members with their relatives. Namaste Care activities decreased pain complaints and increased oral hydration. Namaste Care may be suitable also for residents who do not benefit from traditional activities but have other advanced diseases, e.g., COPD and CHF. Several additional studies, investigating effects of Namaste Care, are currently ongoing in Canada, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Dr. Volicer is currently the Courtesy Full Professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Visiting Professor at the 3rd Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Sydney. He studied medicine at the Charles University in Prague Czechoslovakia and received PhD in pharmacology at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. In 1969, he moved to the USA and started teaching pharmacology and doing research at the Boston University Medical School. In 1979, he moved his laboratory to the E.N.Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA and got involved in research and care for individuals with dementia. As a medical director, he established one of the first Dementia Special Care Units and introduced the concept of structured palliative care for patients with advanced dementia. Goals of care on this unit were quality of life, dignity and comfort instead of prolongation of life at all costs. Dr. Volicer investigated various aspects of dementia care, including behavioral symptoms, medical complications and eating difficulties. He is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He published over 250 articles and chapters, and edited four books on clinical management of dementia. He is a past chair of the American Medical Directors Association Ethics Committee, section editor for the Journal on Nutrition and Aging and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of American Medical Directors Association.