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Evaluating the feasibility, experiences, facilitators of and barriers to carers and volunteers delivering Namaste Care to people with dementia in their own home: a qualitative interview study in the UK and the Netherlands.

Haaksma, M.L., O'Driscoll, C., Joling, K.J., Achterberg, W.P., Francke, A.L., Steen, J.T. van der, Smaling, H.J.A. Evaluating the feasibility, experiences, facilitators of and barriers to carers and volunteers delivering Namaste Care to people with dementia in their own home: a qualitative interview study in the UK and the Netherlands. BMJ Open: 2022, 12(11), Art. nr. e063422
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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.