The Montessori approach for people with dementia

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For those inspired by the recent presentation and workshops of Dr Cameron Camp at the The 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference  or simply if you want to find out more about the use of the Montessori method for engagement with people with dementia read on.

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Video – Purposeful Activities for Dementia

Purposeful activities for dementia complements other professional development resources about engaging people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, including the downloadable Relate Motivate Appreciate toolkitPurposeful activities for dementia was developed  for families and aged care staff.

This resource has been created for anyone interested in providing people with dementia a range of interesting, encouraging and enriching activities: aged care staff, family carers, activity support workers, personal care attendants in residential and community settings, and people with dementia who want a resource to advocate for purposeful activities. Visit web page

The video is divided into six chapters. Each chapter addresses key messages and provides points for reflection. You can watch the entire video, or each individual chapter below.


Recent evaluation of Montessori approaches

 

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Assessment of capabilities in persons with advanced stage of dementia: Validation of The Montessori Assessment System (MAS)
Jérôme Erkes, Cameron J Camp, Stéphane Raffard, Marie-ChristineGély-Nargeot and, Sophie Bayard in Dementia  First Published September 21, 2017

This study evaluated the validity and reliability of the Montessori Assessment System. The Montessori Assessment System assesses preserved abilities in persons with moderate to severe dementia. In this respect, this instrument provides crucial information for the development of effective person-centered care plans. A total of 196 persons with a diagnosis of dementia in the moderate to severe stages of dementia were recruited in 10 long-term care facilities in France. All participants completed the Montessori Assessment System, the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale and/or the Mini Mental State Examination and the Severe Impairment Battery-short form. The internal consistency and temporal stability of the Montessori Assessment System were high. Additionally, good construct and divergent validity were demonstrated. Factor analysis showed a one-factor structure. The Montessori Assessment System demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties while being a useful instrument to assess capabilities in persons with advanced stages of dementia and hence to develop person-centered plans of care.   Abstract

 

Montessori-based activities among persons with late-stage dementia: Evaluation of mental and behavioral health outcomes
Scott E Wilks, P August Boyd, Samantha M Bates, Daphne S Cain, Jennifer R Geiger in Dementia  First Published April 27, 2017

Literature regarding Montessori-based activities with older adults with dementia is fairly common with early stages of dementia. Conversely, research on said activities with individuals experiencing late-stage dementia is limited because of logistical difficulties in sampling and data collection. Given the need to understand risks and benefits of treatments for individuals with late-stage dementia, specifically regarding their mental and behavioral health, this study sought to evaluate the effects of a Montessori-based activity program implemented in a long-term care facility.  Abstract

 

Implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia: A Scoping Review
Sander L Hitzig,  Christine L Sheppard in  The Gerontologist, Volume 57, Issue 5, 1 October 2017, Pages e94–e114,

A  review was conducted to develop an understanding of Montessori-based programing (MBP) approaches used in dementia care and to identify optimal ways to implement these programs across various settings. Abstract

 

Effects of Sustained, Coordinated Activities Programming in Long-Term Care: The Memory in Rhythm® Program
Iva De Witt-Hoblit, Mary Neal Miller, Cameron J. Camp,  in  Advances in Aging Research, Vol.5 No.1, 2016

 An account of  the creation and pilot testing of a sustained, coordinated activities program, Memory in Rhythm®(MIR), which incorporated Montessori-Based Dementia Programming™, in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Effects of implementing MIR then were examined in memory care units in 16 aged care centers—9 SNFs and 7 assisted living residences in Ohio. For these centers, all data were collected over a period of one year before and one year after implementation of MIR. Results indicate that implementation of MIR was associated with reductions in medication use, increased census, decreased employee turnover, decreased wandering and agitation, and increased sleeping at night, eating and capacity for activities of daily living. Read online

 

Implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia™ in Ontario long-term care homes: Recreation staff and multidisciplinary consultants’ perceptions of policy and practice issues
Kate Ducak, Margaret DentonGail Elliot in Dementia First Published January 8, 2016

Montessori-based activities use a person-centred approach to benefit persons living with dementia by increasing their participation in, and enjoyment of, daily life. This study investigated recreation staff and multidisciplinary consultants’ perceptions of factors that affected implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia™ in long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada. Qualitative data were obtained during semi-structured telephone interviews with 17 participants who worked in these homes. A political economy of aging perspective guided thematic data analysis. Barriers such as insufficient funding and negative attitudes towards activities reinforced a task-oriented biomedical model of care. Various forms of support and understanding helped put Montessori Methods for Dementia™ into practice as a person-centred care program, thus reportedly improving the quality of life of residents living with dementia, staff and family members. These results demonstrate that when Montessori Methods for Dementia™ approaches are learned and understood by staff they can be used as practical interventions for long-term care residents living with dementia. Abstract


 

 

 

The Montessori Approach for people with dementia

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New resource from Alzheimer’s Australia, helping you positively connect with people with dementia

2017 Update

2015 Update : There is now a second post on Montessori methods for people with dementia on this blog.  Check it out for more Montessori resources.

Montessori is a topic close to my heart.  Part of my own schooling was Montessori and my children attend a Montessori school.  For me, what really appeals is the dignity and respect which the students are afforded.  The sense of satisfaction and well-deserved pride they derive from mastering an activity is heart-warming to see.  When I discovered that the Montessori principles were also enriching the lives of people with dementia I was really excited.  It’s such a natural extension of this incredibly flexible, carefully-constructed and intelligent educational philosophy.

In more fabulous Montessori-and-dementia news, Dr Cameron Camp PhD and Director of Research, Centre for Applied Research in Dementia, Ohio USA has joined us in Australia to help Alzheimer’s Australia launch “Relate, Motivate, Appreciate: promoting positive interactions with people living with dementia”.  This series of Family Workshops is aimed at family carers and will give carers the knowledge to enable persons living with dementia to be engaged in meaningful activity throughout the day. Workshop participants will receive the recently launched resource RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE: Montessori Resource – more about that below.

Resource: RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE: An Introduction to Montessori Activities, Alzheimer’s Australia

This introduction to Montessori activities focuses on the elements of a meaningful interaction with someone living with dementia. The booklet outlines why the Montessori approach works, describes the “RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE” model and the principles of engagement under this approach. A DVD is included to provide some visuals to further guide the approach.

Resource: RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE: A Montessori Resource, Alzheimer’s Australia

RelateMotivateAppreciate-resource_webPeople with dementia are often confronted with what they can no longer do or with the mistakes that they make. Montessori principles are designed to focus on what they can still do. One of the main Montessori principles emphasises using less language, while at the same time promoting non-verbal communication by demonstrating everything that you would like the person to engage with. This book includes 28 activities. The activities are grouped under 5 themes: watching, listening, touching, smelling and tasting. These activities are a starting point that will hopefully serve as inspiration for you to think of activities that the person will enjoy.

YouTube video: Demonstration of Montessori activity, Alzheimer’s Australia

This 7.44 min video shows how to conduct the activity “Feeling different fabrics”.

Book: Montessori-Based Activities for Persons with Dementia: Volume 1, Dr C. Camp

Montessori-based activites vol1This manual is designed to provide people with dementia with cognitive stimulation and opportunities to successfully and meaningfully interact with their physical and social environments on a regular basis. We all have basic needs and many of the problem behaviors associated with dementia can be traced to the inability to meet one or several of these basic human needs. Montessori-Based Activities  for Persons with Dementia: Volume 1 provides stimulating, interesting and challenging activities that can be performed successfully as a means of helping persons with dementia meet such needs.

Book: Montessori-Based Activities for Persons with Dementia: Volume 2, Dr C. Camp

montessori_activities_vol2_blogVolume 2 provides new ideas for activities programming for persons with dementia and other cognitive disorders. There are examples of group activities, as well as methods of transforming individualised programming into small and large group activities. Also guidelines for inter-generational activities which bring young and old together and promote mutual care, transmit cultural values, and enrich the lives of everyone involved.  Activities for men are a focus in this manual.

YouTube video: A Different Visit: Montessori-Based Activities for People with Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr C. Camp and Centre for Applied Research in Dementia

This is an 8-minute presentation by Dr. Cameron Camp of the Center for Applied Research in Dementia created to help families and friends have purposeful and rewarding visits with loved ones who have memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. The presentation centers on the use of Montessori-based activities, which are effective in engaging persons with memory loss.

Book: Montessori Methods for Dementia™: Focusing on the Person & the Prepared Environment, G. Elliot

montessori methods for dementiaThe Montessori Method for Dementia™ is an innovative approach to dementia care that can be adapted for individuals, for groups and as a philosophy of care. The focus is on “doing”. Since programming is created based on individual needs, strengths, interests and abilities, the activities are meaningful to the individuals, thus affording them the opportunity to enjoy an enriched quality of life by remaining purposefully and meaningfully engaged in daily roles, routines and activities of daily living.

Other links

If you’re keen to here’s some links to information on the

Montessori Philosophy, Montessori Australia

Maria Montessori biography, Montessori Australia

UPDATE October 2015: There is now a second post on Montessori methods for people with dementia on this blog.  Check it out for more Montessori resources.