Joyce Simard, M.S.W., is a private geriatric consultant to skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, and hospice organizations worldwide. She is also involved in research projects investigating the efforts of Namaste Care™ in Australia and the United Kingdom. She earned her bachelor of arts in sociology and social work from Ithaca College in New York and her master of social work from the University of Minnesota. She also serves as Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Australia.
In addition to the Namaste Care™ program, Simard has developed other programs for people with memory loss. The Memory Enhancement Program (MEP) is for people experiencing memory loss above and beyond what is normal for their age and education. Residents in independent living and assisted living communities as well as those who participate in adult day programs benefit from this unique program. The Club is a program for residents in nursing facilities and assisted living who have moderate memory loss. Its implementation has resulted in a decrease in anti-psychotic medications as well as a decline in resident falls and improved staff and resident satisfaction.
Simard is the author of a children’s book about aging and dementia, The Magic Tape Recorder (2007), which was published in several languages and is currently out of print.
Simard is an internationally recognized speaker who has presented both to families of people with dementia and to healthcare professionals in the United States, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia. As a keynote or featured speaker at professional conferences, she is known for bringing humor and a light touch to serious subjects, teaching through stories of real experiences from her 35 years in healthcare. She also provides in-service training on a variety of subjects, including hospice, bereavement, comfort care, and activity programs for people with all stages of dementia.