FRIENDS of the Elderly care homes, in the heart of Malvern, held a festive Yuletide Namaste afternoon in the run up to Christmas.
The events took place at Davenham, Bradbury Court and Perrins House with dementia champion Adrian Tyrer.
As the Bradbury Court care home Adrian, who has been with Friends of the Elderly for over eight years, regularly hosts seasonal Namaste afternoons with the festive session being the highlight of the year.
Adrian said: “The Namaste sessions are a sensory experience in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
“For the Christmas Namaste, I created an ambient setting which was warm and comforting.
“The Namaste area was full of festive aromas and scents such as cinnamon, cloves, satsumas and pine and the residents relaxed surrounded by Poinsettias, sipping tasty hot chocolate in front of a crackling interactive fire.
“I sat and chatted with the residents, taking time to listen to what they had to say and through the different smells, tastes and festive environment evoked happy memories and stories of their past Christmases, family tales and traditions.”
The events were finished with some Christmas poetry.
Namaste is an expression of appreciation and respect towards another person which resonates with seeing dementia care in different light and from the resident’s point of view.
Adrian added: “This is key to everything I deliver every day.
“No two days are the same, as I gauge the residents’ moods, see what they feel like doing and adapt activities to what they want to do, when they want to do it.
“Taking time to listen and talk to the residents is very important, everybody likes to be listened to and giving them reassurance, support and encouragement with a friendly smile goes a long way. One of the best things about my job is being able to put a smile on somebody’s face every day.”
Mark Wilson, Friends of the Elderly’s Engagement Director said: “Namaste is an activity we implemented in partnership with the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies.
“It is specifically designed for residents living with a more advanced dementia and who may benefit from a sensory focused style of activity and engagement session.
“Our vision at Friends of the Elderly is to aspire to a society where all older people have the opportunity to live fulfilled lives, and we work to achieve this by delivering services personalised to individual needs.
“We have embedded dementia care across all levels in our organisation and Namaste care was first trialled and implemented across the care homes in Malvern.”
Adrian added: “I’m very passionate and committed to what I do, the residents are not just residents, they are my friends.
“I’m eager to continue to work with my colleagues to ensure dementia care continues to be completely rooted in our day-to-day activities and that we all take time to sit down with someone to make sure they know they have a person to talk to whenever they need it.”