A hospice is launching a new dementia project to support people living with advanced dementia, and their carers, across West Essex and East Hertfordshire.

The Namaste Care Dementia Support project from St Clare Hospice aims to train and empower both unpaid carers and paid care staff to deliver high-quality, compassionate care to people living with advanced dementia.

The first training course will be delivered virtually in January by St Clare’s team of Namaste Champions, who will also offer ongoing peer support and monthly group sessions to all those who have attended the Namaste Care course.

Part of the training course will include providing attendees with a Namaste Care box of resources, to enable them to practice Namaste Care techniques with the person they care for.

One of those items will be a 'Twiddlemuff' – a knitted, handheld comforter that offers a special way to engage and comfort a person with dementia.

Epping Forest Guardian:

St Clare Hospice is appealing for people to knit and donate Twiddlemuffs to be distributed through the Namaste Care programme - to download a free knitting pattern,visit stclarehospice.org.uk/Namaste-care-dementia-support

Community engagement manager at St Clare Hospice, Sally Muylders, who is leading the project, said: "We’re delighted to be launching this new project, dedicated to supporting those living with advanced dementia, and their family and carers.

"The Namaste Care training course will give both unpaid, informal carers, looking after a friend or family member, and paid carers working in care homes and day centres, the skills and tools to deliver high-quality and compassionate care.

"Most importantly, it will also provide and ongoing support network for carers in the months and years ahead – enabling them to meet other carers of people with advanced dementia, proving mutual peer support from others who understand both the challenges, and rewards, of their role.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

Sally Muylders

If you are caring for someone with advanced dementia, and would like to meet others and learn about Namaste Care together, call community engagement manager Muylders on 07398 714405 or email sally.muylders@stclarehospice.org.uk.

You can also sign up to a Zoom launch event on December 15 at stclarehospice.org.uk/launch-event-namaste.