Although the concept of Montessori is traditionally associated with teaching school-aged children, you may be surprised to learn that the same Montessori methods can be highly effective for supporting people with dementia.
Dr. Montessori’s teaching principles are based on independence, meaningful engagement, high self-esteem, and the ability to make true choices. This same approach is applied in Montessori-based dementia activities in long-term care; it can give your loved one something to look forward to each day, while also helping them establish a new direction and purpose.
The case for a Montessori approach to dementia
A 2006 report prepared for the District of Columbia Office on Aging found that people with dementia responded better to Montessori-based activities than to non-Montessori-based activities. In fact, they showed an increased level of engagement and ability to handle difficult tasks.
Today, this innovative Montessori approach to dementia has been adopted by some senior living communities — including Hearthstone at Presbyterian Village Austell. That’s because the focus of Montessori dementia care is individuality, and it recognizes that there are different types of memory:
- Declarative memory — the facts we learn, like dates and historic events
- Procedural memory — the things we learn that are embedded and less easily forgotten, like throwing a ball
The Montessori method teaches staff members that each person has a unique history, and applies these two different types of memory to help people be as independent as possible. By breaking down activities that require procedural memory, such as getting dressed, into small tasks and repeating them, it’s possible for your loved one to learn to do certain things for themselves again.
See the difference the Montessori Method can make
One of the ways Hearthstone at Presbyterian Village Austell empowers people living with dementia and other forms of memory loss is by learning your loved one’s desires, habits and needs. We then encourage and support them in their established routines with a personalized schedule. Your family member chooses when to rise, dine, prepare for the day and retire. They can also choose the activities they want to participate in that day, from working jigsaw puzzles to joining in a sing-along to going safely for a walk. We’ll even keep their favorite ice cream in the freezer.
To learn more about our innovative Montessori approach to dementia care and the difference it can make in your loved one’s life, call us at <a href=”tel: +1-770-628-1234:>770-628-1234</a> or use our Contact Us form.
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