Namaste Program with McMaster and St. Peter’s Residence

McMaster University is pleased to announce their partnership with St. Peter’s Residence at Chedoke and the launch of the Namaste Care program. Namaste Care provides a designated space and time for residents who have difficulty engaging in other programs due to physical or cognitive decline. The program aims to provide residents with meaningful and therapeutic activities with a trained carer to promote dignity and person-centered engagement. McMaster University will study the effects on resident quality of life by measuring:

  • The effects of increased socialization and therapeutic activities on residents with advanced dementia and other advanced chronic illnesses
  • Assess the impact of the Namaste Care program on resident quality of life, pain, agitation, anxiety, depression, and medication use
  • Explore volunteer, family, and staff experiences of engagement with program participants

The program is now into its second month of launch with positive reception from staff, family, and residents. Here are some things staff at St. Peter’s had to say:

“…that wow moment with our two volunteer facilitators…in that moment in his room with the photo on the wall and they had that mindset to pull what was in that picture into music and they had an amazing visit with (resident). He was interacting and tapping his feet and it was a song that was really important to him in his past.”

“Long-standing yell and calling out, which is still happening, but when she’s in the sessions she calms down. You still get a tiny little bit but she tends to calm down.”

” (the resident was) very verbally and physically responsive; hitting her chair, trying to climb out of her chair. Often times when she’s in that banging state… within 5, 10 minutes of the session she calms right down. In those aspects, I think it is making a huge difference. If only we could have someone with her doing Namaste 24/7, I think it would help her.”

The McMaster research team would like to extend their many thanks to the hard work and dedication of the St. Peter’s Residence team. We look forward to working with you and continuing to make a positive impact on the lives of residents, family, and staff.

Alyssa Te, RN, BScN
Research Assistant
Nursing Research Support Services
School of Nursing