- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces repetitive questioning
- Reduces constant request for attention
- Increases self esteem
- Reduces depression
- A sense of accomplishment & contribution
- Eliminates boredom
- Increases motor skills
- Stimulates all senses
- Increase in socialization
- Increase in family interaction
What is Montessori?
The Montessori philosophy was developed by Maria Montessori, MD., PhD, over one hundred years ago, as a tool to teach children deemed “unreachable”. Dr. Cameron Camp is responsible for the research that connected Dr. Montessori’s principals & techniques to reaching people with dementia. This method was proven successful as it is based on the use of muscle memory. Muscle memory is that part of the memory that is used in repetitive muscle movement, for example in remembering how to ride a bike, play a musical instrument or read- Muscle memory (sometimes called procedural memory) tends to be less damaged in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Because this procedural or muscle memory system may still be working properly in people who have dementia, *Montessori Methods for Dementia™ can be used very successfully as a means to reach and engage people with memory loss. The philosophy of the Montessori Methods for Dementia™ is to foster independence for as long as possible, offers choices, and treats people with respect and dignity.
What are the benefits of Montessori activities?
Montessori uses activities as tools that help create the bridge to reconnect to people who may seem unreachable. Using these activities, Montessori programming gives seniors the opportunity to use their hands and their five senses to activate and stimulate their minds. Being able to focus on the task at hand and to experience success again helps people with memory loss feel more secure and confident and less angry and frustrated. The Montessori Method focuses on the use of remaining strengths and abilities. This positive approach to dementia care is a source of creativity and comfort to people both with dementia and caregivers alike. Montessori Methods for Dementia™ is most effective when incorporated in all areas of life. The goal is to engage each resident in meaningful moments that add purpose to their lives with the feeling of contribution to their community. This would be an individual process according to each person’s level of ability, interests, needs and skills. For instance, a person who constantly asks to go for a walk may do so because they can’t remember that they just returned from their walk. A laminated card or schedule showing what time they last went for a walk and when someone will return to take them again will help to alleviate their anxiety.