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Internationally recognized dementia expert is coming to the Copper Country

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HANCOCK – Portage Health Hospice is proud to announce that internationally recognized dementia expert Joyce Simard, MSW, is coming to the Copper Country to help the hospice program implement a new philosophy of care called Namaste (pronounced NAH-mes-tay) Care.

Joyce SimardSimard will be training Portage Health Hospice staff on Monday, Nov. 26 and Tuesday, Nov. 27. The training will commence with a wine reception on Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Jutila Center in Hancock. The wine reception is free and open to the public. Light hors d’oeuvres will also be served.

Simard developed Namaste Care, and has been instrumental at implementing it at organizations around the world. She has written two books and dozens of papers on the topic. She continues to travel the world presenting information on it, and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia. She will introduce the program and be available to answer questions at the reception.

“This model of care affirms the individuality and enduring spirit of each person,” said Marianne Berghefer, Portage Health Hospice volunteer and bereavement coordinator. “We’ve had our eye on this program for many months now and couldn’t be happier to have the world’s utmost expert in Namaste Care here to train our staff and help us introduce this to the community.”

Namaste Care improves quality of life through meaningful sensory activities that stimulate the senses, promote relaxation, and offer comfort and serenity. Although specifically designed for advanced dementia, the sensory approaches in Namaste Care enhance the lives of people with other diseases as well.

The public is invited to learn more about the program by joining Simard and Portage Health Hospice staff at the reception.

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