Namaste Care Family Programme

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Brief description

Increasing the involvement of family caregivers and volunteers in caring for people with dementia: further development and implementation of the Namaste Care Family programme.


  • Dr. Hanneke Smaling, senior researcher, LUMC
  • Josine Engels, MSc., project coordinator, LUMC
  • Dr. ir. Jenny van der Steen, associate professor, LUMC
  • Dr. Karlijn Joling, senior researcher, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc 
  • Prof. dr. Anneke Francke, professor Nursing and Care at the end of life, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc
  • Prof. dr. Wilco Achterberg, professor of Institutional Care and Elderly Care Medicine, LUMC

Participating organisations

Woonzorgcentra Haaglanden, The Hague
Laurens, Rotterdam 


Hanneke Smaling

Start study


Expected completion



Namaste Care is an American care programme focussing on improving the quality of life of nursing home residents with advanced dementia and their relatives. By engaging people with dementia in meaningful activities on a daily basis, the programme attends to their psychological, bodily and spiritual needs. We adapted Namaste Care to the Dutch context, emphasizing that family caregivers provide the sessions in collaboration with the nursing staff. 

In the Dutch Namaste study (2014-2019), we examined the effects of the programme on the quality of life of nursing home residents with dementia and on positive experiences of family caregivers. Of the 19 participating nursing homes, 10 were randomized to the group that implemented the programme, while the other 9 continued the usual care. We also conducted a pilot study to examine the feasibility of the Namaste Care Family programme for people living with dementia at home. 

In December 2020, we started a follow-up project in the Netherlands to promote Namaste Care Family and to stimulate further implementation of the programme. The activities in the follow-up project include examining the status of Namaste Care Family in the nursing homes that implemented the programme as part of the earlier Namaste study. Also, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Namaste Care Family are investigated. The Namaste manuals for healthcare professionals, family caregivers, and volunteers are updated and improved. Further, we develop a national registration system for certified Namaste Care Trainers and an online Namaste Care Family webinar. 


The research was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) grant number 733050302 and grant number 0-733-5-98-1514, Fonds NutsOhra (FNO), grant number 1405-181 and University Network of the Care sector South Holland (UNC-ZH). 

Namaste Care Family Programme toolkit

A toolkit has been developed for the Namaste Care Family Programme.
Click here to view and download the toolkit.


Image report of the symposium on 22-03-2019

Tekst report of the symposium on 22-03-2019: ‘Waardigheid en Trots’ [Dignity and Pride] about Namaste (Dutch) 

Newsletter April 2019 (Dutch)
Newsletter January 2019 (Dutch)
Newsletter October 2018 (Dutch)
Newsletter June 2018 (Dutch)
Newsletter March 2018 (Dutch)
Newsletter January 2018 (Dutch)
Newsletter November 2017 (Dutch)
Newsletter June 2017 (Dutch)
Newsletter March 2017 (Dutch) 

• Smaling, HJA, Joling, KJ, van der Steen, JT. Measuring positive caregiving experiences in caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia. Geriatr. Gerontol. Int. 2021; 1-2.

• Smaling HJA, Joling KJ, Achterberg WP, Francke AL, van der Steen JT. Measuring positive caregiving experiences in family caregivers of nursing home residents: A comparison of the Positive Experiences Scale, Gain in Alzheimer Care INstrument, and Positive Aspects of Caregiving questionnaire. Geriatr. Gerontol. Int. 2021;1-8.

• Tasseron-Dries, P. E., Smaling, H. J., Doncker, S. M., Achterberg W. P., & van der Steen, J. T. (2021). Family involvement in the Namaste Care Family program for dementia: A qualitative study on experiences of family nursing home staff, and volunteers. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 103968.

• El Alili, M., Smaling, H.J.A., Joling, K.J. et al. Cost-effectiveness of the Namaste care family program for nursing home residents with advanced dementia in comparison with usual care: a cluster-randomized controlled trial. BMC Health Serv Res 20, 831 (2020). 

• van der Steen, J. T., Joling, K. J., Francke, A. L., Achterberg, W. P., & Smaling, H. J. A. (2019). The Effects of the Namaste Care Family Program on Quality of Life of People with Advanced Dementia. Innovation in Aging, 3(Supplement_1), S824-S824. 

• Smaling, H., Joling, K., Achterberg, W., Francke, A., & van der Steen, J. (2019). Does the Namaste Care Family Program Improve Quality of Life of People with Advanced Dementia? Palliative Medicine. doi: 10.1177/0269216319844405 (p. 48).

• Smaling, H.J.A., Joling, K.J., van de Ven, P.M., Bosmans, J.E., Simard, J., Volicer, L., Achterberg, W.P.,  Francke, A.L. van der Steen, J.T. Effects of the Namaste Care Family programme on quality of life of nursing home residents with advanced dementia and on family caregiving experiences: study protocol of a cluster-randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. BMJ Open 2018;8:e025411. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025411