Recent dementia publications

This post identifies some recent publications on dementia. These books are all available from the library – if you can’t make it to our Hawthorn location we encourage you to call us on 03 9815 7800 and we can organise to send books to you. Remember, we do need you to be an Alzheimer’s Australia Vic member to provide this service.

Book: Where the Light Gets in : Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Foreword by Michael J Fox, 2016

where the light gets inMany know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the”Father of the Bride”movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on”Nashville,” or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim’s mother, Linda, was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia that slowly took away her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family. “Where the Light Gets In” tells the full story of Linda’s illness called primary progressive aphasia from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humour and grace. Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, “Where the Light Gets In” is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.”

DVD: Looks like Laury, Sounds like Laury, Pamela Hogan & Connie Shulman, 2015

looks like lauryWhat would you do if you started to disappear? At the age of 45, our friend Laury Sacks, an ebullient actress and the doting mother of two small children, had a reputation as the quickest wit in the room. At the age of 46, she began forgetting words. Soon she could barely speak.

Our film, Looks Like Laury Sounds Like Laury, captures one year in the long, but short journey of frontotemporal dementia, a little-understood disease that strikes people in the prime of life.

But back to Laury. She lived on the Upper Westside in Manhattan with her husband, Eric, and their two young children. She had been an actress/writer for many years prior to having kids, and then devoted her time to being a mom and writing a memoir about her unconventional childhood. But a memoir requires memories, and when gregarious Laury suddenly became quiet, she began to have difficulty accessing hers.

The changes were subtle at first. She asked Pam to meet for coffee one day, but it was surprisingly difficult to engage her in conversation. To the question “What’s going on, am I boring you?” she answered prophetically, “No! I’m just in my head. ” Then she offered a reassuring hug – which wasn’t reassuring at all.

Everyone misread the cues: “We’re not as close as we used to be;” “She must be mad at me;” “Maybe she’s depressed.” As Laury’s friend Nelsie said, “I don’t think it ever occurred to us she couldn’t access language, that she was trapped in her brain and couldn’t access it.”

But Laury was an actress, and she was acting the hell out of her new part – a woman disappearing.

The film came about when Connie suggested making a film to capture her mysterious new life – and Laury jumped at the idea. It is the profoundly personal portrait of a woman who is facing the unthinkable. As she says straight to camera the first day of filming: “What do I hope for? I hope for – the truth!” Following Laury through her day to day life over the course of a year, conversations begin to resemble the famous Abbott and Costello comedy sketch “Who’s on First?” as Laury gives rapid-fire “Yes!” “No!” “No-Yes!” answers, and confusion reigns. Her husband Eric senses that not only does she grasp the absurdity of the situation, but “at some level she thinks its funny.”

We started filming during a hopeful period, with no idea of what lay ahead.

Laury was always a storyteller and she wanted to tell her last story herself. This is her story.

Book: A caregiver’s guide to dementia : using activities and other strategies to prevent, reduce and manage behavioral symptoms, Laura N. Gitlin, Catherine Verrier Piersol, 2014

a caregiver's guide“Mom has nothing to do—I’m concerned about her quality of life.”
“My husband gets agitated when I need to leave the house—I don’t know what to do.”
“My father keeps asking the same questions over and over.”

These are some of the common challenges encountered by individuals and families who are caring for a parent, spouse or close relative with dementia. This easy-to-use, practical guide is designed to help at-home caregivers navigate these daily challenges. Although there is no cure for dementia or its many behavioral symptoms, there are clear and proven strategies that can be used to enhance the quality of life for persons with dementia—strategies that can make a real difference for their families.
A Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia explores the use of activities and other techniques to prevent, reduce and manage the behavioral symptoms of dementia. Separate sections cover daily activities, effective communication, home safety and difficult behaviors, with explicit strategies to handle] agitation, repetitive questions, acting-out, wandering, restlessness, hoarding, resistance to care, incontinence, destructiveness, sexually and socially inappropriate acts at home and in public, aggressiveness, depression. Worksheets are provided to help caregivers customize the strategies that work best for them.
The strategies featured in this guide have been used by the authors in their research and reflect approaches and techniques that families have found to be most helpful.

Book: Dementia: pathways to hope : spiritual insights and practical advice, Louise Morse, 2015

dementia pathways to hopeTo be diagnosed with dementia is “like being blindfolded and let loose in a maze”. There is no clear treatment to follow, because each case is unique. But once thickets of misunderstanding and misinformation are brushed aside, there are pathways to hope.

“Secular models of support don’t adequately reflect Christian values of compassion, love and service,” explains Louise Morse. “Neither do they describe the power of spiritual support. This is key to the wellbeing of the caregiver, as well as the person with dementia.”

This book is packed with examples of what works, as well as practical advice and accessible medical information.

Louise Morse is a cognitive behavioural therapist and works with a national charity whose clients include people with dementia. Her MA dissertation, based on hundreds of interviews, examined the effects on families of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Fiction: Unbecoming, Jenny Downham, 2015

unbecomingThree women – three secrets – one heart-stopping story. Katie, seventeen, in love with someone whose identity she can’t reveal. Her mother Caroline, uptight, worn out and about to find the past catching up with her. Katie’s grandmother, Mary, back with the family after years of mysterious absence and ‘capable of anything’, despite living with Alzheimer’s disease. As Katie cares for an elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to her.

 

YouTube: Living with Dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia, 2016

This is also available as a DVD from our library.

HIV and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND)

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This post is about medical conditions associated with HIV, known as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND).

YouTube: Understanding HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

YouTube: Supporting someone who is living with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Toolkit: HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND): Toolkit for community care workers, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, 2014

HIVHANDCommCareThis toolkit is about medical conditions associated with HIV, known as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). HAND affects cognitive (thinking) abilities such as memory, language, attention, concentration, planning, judgement and organisation.

This toolkit is for paid and volunteer workers in community care settings who support people with HIV. The toolkit provides information to increase knowledge and understanding of the cognitive issues of HIV and their impact on self-care. It helps workers identify and address these issues to support better health outcomes for people with HIV and HAND.

Service providers can use this toolkit as a standalone resource. Although this toolkit is mainly about community care, it may help in other settings, such as residential care.

YouTube: Living with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

 

HIVHANDFamilyFriendsToolkit: Living with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND): Information for people living with HIV and HAND, their partners, families and friends, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, 2014

This booklet has been produced by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic for people living with HIV and HAND, and their partners, families and friends. It is part of the Dementia and Chronic Conditions Series: HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders Toolkit, which has been developed primarily for community care workers. The information and recommendations it contains are based on independent research, expert opinion and scientific evidence available at the time of writing. The information was acquired and developed from a variety of sources, including but not limited to collaborations with the Burnet Institute and Living Positive Victoria.

Article: Understanding HIV and dementia by Denise Cummins, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol.3, No. 6, December 2014/January 2015, p.28-30

AJDC_Dec14Jan15As the lifespan of people with HIV has increased, so too has the risk of developing HIV-associated dementia. Denise Cummins explains the importance of diagnosis, education and effective management to help people with the condition maintain their independence and quality of life.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

This page includes more resources which may be of use in supporting people with HIV and HAND.

webpageHIVDemWebpage: HIV Associated Dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

This page describes what HIV associated dementia is, it’s causes, the symptoms and how it is diagnosed and treated.

 

Paro – therapeutic robot seal

Image of Paro the seal with Jean Wilson. Photograph by Chris Hopkins

Image of Paro the seal with Jean Wilson. Photograph by Chris Hopkins

PARO is an interactive robotic seal. This cuddly and responsive robot provides undemanding interactions and can deliver outcomes similar to animal-assisted therapy.

Today’s post is about PARO and the benefits it can provide to people with dementia.

PARO is a therapeutic robot in the form of a baby seal, developed in Japan to respond to touch, light, sound, temperature and positioning.

PARO has been shown to have a positive psychological effect on people living with dementia, improving their relaxation and motivation. It can also improve the socialisation of patients with each other, and with caregivers. PARO responds to sound and can even learn common words over time, such as its chosen name.

Article: Exploring the Effect of Companion Robots on Emotional Expression in Older Adults with Dementia: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial by Wendy Moyle [et al], Journal of Gerontological Nursing, Vol. 39, No. 5, May 2013, p.46-53

This pilot study aimed to compare the effect of companion robots (PARO) to participation in an interactive reading group on emotions in people living with moderate to severe dementia in a residential care setting. A randomized crossover design, with PARO and reading control groups, was used. Eighteen residents with mid- to late-stage dementia from one aged care facility in Queensland, Australia, were recruited. Participants were assessed three times using the Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease, Rating Anxiety in Dementia, Apathy Evaluation, Geriatric Depression, and Revised Algase Wandering Scales. PARO had a moderate to large positive influence on participants’ quality of life compared to the reading group. The PARO intervention group had higher pleasure scores when compared to the reading group. Findings suggest PARO may be useful as a treatment option for people with dementia; however, the need for a larger trial was identified.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Website: PARO Therapeutic Robot

PARO websiteThe official PARO website, includes information on PARO and an extensive library of research papers on PARO which you can obtain by request.

Television show: Trusting Robots, SBS Insight, 21 April 2015

From the SBS Insight website:

“Stephen Hawking recently warned that the development of full artificial intelligence (AI) systems could spell the end of the human race.

trusting robotsFrom agriculture and manufacturing to education and medicine, some experts are predicting a future where blue and white collar workers will soon be replaced.

Technological progress has seen robots become more sophisticated, so what will be the economic impact of AI?

Could we actually be entering an age of abundance for humans catered to by robot slaves?

Insight asks: Is humanity really being threatened by thinking robots, and where will robotic advances take us into the future?

What are the ethical and moral questions to consider?”

Guests include Professor Wendy Moyle who discusses a trial using PARO during the show.

Professor Moyle is Director of the Centre for Health Practice Innovation: “We’ve got a very large trial running with over 400 people with dementia… and we’re looking at whether (the robot) makes a difference to them in terms of emotional response… ”

Image of Paro the seal with residents. Photograph by Chris Hopkins

Image of Paro the seal with residents. Photograph by Chris

Music and dementia

Music has a transformative effect on people. Whether young, old, happy, sad, with dementia, without dementia, music enriches our lives and helps us access cherished memories. Today’s post provides information on resources about the importance of music to people with dementia and the potential for music to contribute to a higher quality of life in myriad ways.

ConnectingThruMusicBook: Connecting through music with people with dementia : a guide for caregivers  by Robin Rio, 2009

For people with dementia, the world can become a lonely and isolated place. Music has long been a vital instrument in transcending cognitive issues; bringing people together, and allowing a person to live in the moment. Connecting though Music with People with Dementia explains how a caregiver can learn to use melody or rhythm to connect with someone who may be otherwise non-responsive, and how memories can be stimulated by music that resonates with a part of someone’s past.

This user-friendly book demonstrates how even simple sounds and movements can engage people with dementia, promoting relaxation and enjoyment. All that’s needed to succeed is a love of music, and a desire to gain greater communication and more meaningful interaction with people with dementia. The book provides practical advice on using music with people with dementia, including a songbook suggesting a range of popular song choices and a chapter focusing on the importance of caregivers looking after themselves as well as the people they care for.

Suitable for both family and professional caregivers with no former experience of music therapy, and for music therapy students or entry level professionals, this accessible book reveals many useful techniques used in music therapy by experienced professionals.

dementia journalArticle: Music therapy: A nonpharmacological approach to the care of agitation and depressive symptoms for nursing home residents with dementia by Kendra D Ray and Mary S Mittleman, Dementia October 29, 2015

Depression, agitation, and wandering are common behaviors associated with dementia and frequently observed among nursing home residents. Even with pharmacological treatment, behaviors often persist, hindering quality of life for elders, their family, and paid caregivers. This study examined the use of music therapy for treatment of these symptoms among 132 people with moderate to severe dementia in nursing homes. Participants were evaluated for depressive symptoms, agitation, and wandering to determine their predominate behavior. There were two assessments, two weeks apart, prior to intervention, followed by a two-week intervention, and two follow-up assessments, also two weeks apart. A repeated measures ANOVA determined that after two weeks of music therapy, symptoms of depression and agitation were significantly reduced; there was no change for wandering. Multivariate analyses confirmed a relationship between music therapy and change in neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia. Results suggest widespread use of music therapy in long-term care settings may be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and agitation.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

DVD: Alive inside: A story of music & memory. A film by Michael Rossato-Bennett, 2014Alive Inside DVD

Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized and awakened by the simple act of listening to the music of their youth.

You can view the trailer for this wonderful film below:

radio nat article 2Radio program: Music of memory – All In The Mind, Radio National, Sunday 8 November 2015 5:05PM

All In The Mind explores the work documented by the documentary Alive Inside. This radio program is available as on-demand, a downloadable audio file or a written transcript.  Below is an excerpt from their synopsis:

“Our relationship with music begins at birth, if not before, and plays a role in the formation of our identity when we are young. Now a heart-warming movement called Music & Memory is creating personalised music playlists for residents with dementia in nursing homes—who use their mobile device to hear it.” RN All In The Mind website, accessed 20 November 2015.

 

dementia journalArticle: But does it do any good? Measuring the impact of music therapy on people with advanced dementia: (Innovative practice) by Karen Gold. Dementia 2014 13(2) p.258-264

This article describes the impact of music therapy upon a group of nine people with advanced dementia in a hospital setting. It demonstrates how the impact of music therapy was measured using the case notes completed by nursing and care staff and how these notes suggested that music therapy had a positive effect on the mood and behaviour on eight of the nine people receiving music therapy.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Sustaining_note_of_hopeReport: Sustaining the note of hope: Music, dementia and meaningful lives by Marsaili Cameron and Belinda Sosinowicz , 2013

The report draws on the presentations, discussions and stories from a creative multidisciplinary seminar in order to:
• outline the emerging shape of dementia services in the UK, and the potential contribution of the arts, especially music, to dementia care.
• offer examples of current excellent practice in this area and provide a list of useful resources.
• provide an overview of the evidence underpinning music and dementia programmes and suggest constructive approaches to evaluation.
• explore the benefits of music and dementia programmes for different stakeholders in different settings, including people with dementia, management and staff of care and support organisations, musicians, commissioners of services and programmes.
• identify the key challenges that need to be met in order for music and dementia activity to grow, along with potential responses to these challenges.
• propose ways of continuing, sharing and expanding the learning from the seminar.

How can you use it?
• to understand the depth and breadth of the potential contribution of music to dementia care.
• to draw on work already done in the field and to make contact with those involved in this work.
• to create dialogue across artistic, academic, clinical and managerial groups about how music can be used effectively in different care settings for people with dementia.
• to develop evidence-based programmes.
• to make a case for funding music-based initiatives and research.

JGN_feb2014Article: Music-Assisted Bathing: Making Shower Time Easier for People with Dementia by Kendra D. Ray, Suzanne Fitzsimmons. Journal of Gerontological Nursing Vol.40, No. 2, 2014, p.9-13

It is estimated that 90% of nursing home residents need assistance with bathing. The purpose of this article is to describe a music-assisted care technique that can be used by caregivers when bathing nursing home residents with dementia. Research suggests that music has many therapeutic benefits for people with dementia. Using music to soothe anxiety can be an effective intervention to assist with lessening of agitation during activities of daily living, especially bathing. This article will provide nursing and direct care staff tools to successfully conduct the music-assisted bathing protocol. Consideration for choosing appropriate music for bathing, the creation of individualized personalized playlists, and acknowledgement of desired outcomes are presented. Incorporating music-assisted bathing may address neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia by lessening agitation and improving mood, which in turn can increase job satisfaction.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

music therapy and neurological rehabilitationBook: Music therapy and neurobiological rehabilitation : performing health  /  Edited by David Aldridge  (2005)

The central tenet of this innovative collection is that identity can be regarded as a performance, achieved through and in dialogue with others. The authors show that where neuro-degenerative disease restricts movement, communication and thought processes and impairs the sense of self, music therapy and neurological rehabilitation can help to restore the performance of identity within which clients can recognise themselves. Emphasis is placed on identity as a chosen performance, not one imposed by a pathological process – the individual is not defined by the disease. The authors show that music therapy is an effective intervention in neurological rehabilitation, successfully restoring the performance of identity within which clients can recognise themselves. It can also aid clients affected by dementia, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis, among other neuro-generative diseases. Music Therapy and Neurological Rehabilitation is an authoritative and comprehensive text that will be of interest to practicing music therapists, students and academics in the field.

Chapter four of this book focuses on the role of music therapy as an intervention for people with dementia.

jdc_marchapril2015Article: ‘That was an amazing one!’ Music therapy in dementia care by Elizabeth Nightingale, The Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 23, No. 2, March/April 2015

The story of how music therapy helped to restore one man’s individuality and his relationship with his partner.Elizabeth Nightingale is a music therapist with adults with dementia.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

AJDCfebmar14Article: The healing power of music by Vanessa Solomon, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 3, No. 1, February/March 2014, p.17-18

Music therapy for people with dementia has been well-documented in many peer-reviewed academic journals, but it is still a relatively underused practice for supporting people with dementia. As a Registered Music Therapist (RMT), I personally experience the benefit of using music therapy for people with dementia, and believe it is one of the most accessible person-centred interventions. It is cost-effective for residential aged-care facilities and enjoyable for residents, staff and families. The best part is that it can facilitate meaningful experiences for people involved in all stages of dementia and is a way of involving their families.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

aust_ageing_agenda_mar2014_webArticle: Dementia: Music to their ears by Diana Kerr, Australian Ageing Agenda, March – April 2014, p.52-53

There is a substantial body of evidence showing the crucial role that music plays in support of people with dementia, writes Diana Kerr.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Montessori methods for people with dementia

Montessori methods are now a popular and powerful way to support the lives and capabilities of people with dementia. This post and a previous post offer resources on Montessori activities and how to implement Montessori-based activities.

 2017 update


Website: Purposeful activities for people with dementia: a resource, 

Purposeful Activities for Dementia is a Montessori-based professional development and education resource developed for aged care and dementia care staff and carers.

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 toolkit. Purposeful activities for dementia was developed by Alzheimer’s Australia VIC for families and aged care staff.

Purposeful Activities for Dementia offers practical ways that carers – including activity support workers, personal care attendants and other aged care professionals – can work together to engage people living with dementia in purposeful activities at home and in social groups.

The videos by Alzheimer’s Australia VIC on this website explore the way in which Montessori techniques can enrich the lives of people living with dementia. Many of the educational activities in the following video are based on this approach.


Article
 Effects of using nursing home residents to serve as group activity leaders: Lessons learned from the RAP project by Michael J. Skrajner, Jessica L. Haberman, Cameron J. Camp, Melanie Tusick, Cristina Frentiu, and Gregg Gorzelle, Dementia: The international journal of social research and practice, Volume 13, Number 2, March 2014

Previous research has demonstrated that persons with early to moderate stage dementia are capable of leading small group activities for persons with more advanced dementia. In this study, we built upon this previous work by training residents in long-term care facilities to fill the role of group activity leaders using a Resident-Assisted Programming (RAP) training regimen. There were two stages to the program. In the first stage, RAP training was provided by researchers. In the second stage, RAP training was provided to residents by activities staff members of long-term care facilities who had been trained by researchers. We examine the effects of RAP implemented by researchers and by activities staff member on long-term care resident with dementia who took part in these RAP activities. We also examined effects produced by two types of small group activities: two Montessori-based activities and an activity which focuses on persons with more advanced dementia, based on the work of Jitka Zgola. Results demonstrate that levels of positive engagement seen in players during RAP (resident-led activities) were typically higher than those observed during standard activities programming led by site staff. In general, Montessori-Based Dementia Programming® produced more constructive engagement than Zgola-based programming (ZBP), though ZBP did increase a positive form of engagement involving observing activities with interest. In addition, RAP implemented by activities staff members produced effects that were, on the whole, similar to those produced when RAP was implemented by researchers. Implications of these findings for providing meaningful social roles for persons with dementia residing in long-term care, and suggestions for further research in this area, are discussed.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.


you say goodbye_webBook: You say goodbye and we say hello : the Montessori method for positive dementia care by Tom and Karen Brenner, ©2012

This book aims to help dementia caregivers connect with their loved ones-in sometimes surprising ways.

Caregiving for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be fraught with frustration, but it all can be rewarding in ways that may surprise a caregiver. Getting to those rewarding moments is the subject of You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello, a new book by husband-and-wife team Tom and Karen Brenner.

You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello is an inspiring, eye-opening look into how using The Montessori Method for memory support and creating a positive environment can deepen the connection between caregivers and the people they love. – Sam Gaines, Managing Editor, Preserving Your Memory Magazine


Article: Montessori based dementia programming® by Michael J. Skrajner [et al]  Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, Vol. 8, Issue 1, January/March 2007, p. 53-63

Montessori-Based Dementia Programming® (MBDP) is a method of creating and presenting activities/interventions. The Myers Research Institute conducted several studies, each of which involved the use of MBDP in a different setting/situation. Staff members from nursing homes, adult day centres, and assisted living facilities were trained to implement MBDP, as were family members and even persons in the early stages of dementia. In addition, a Montessori-based assessment tool is being developed for use in restorative nursing for persons with moderate to advanced dementia. An overview of each study is provided, as are the findings and implications of each study.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.


EvalMontPrincReport: Evaluation of Montessori principles in planned activity groups for people with dementia, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, La Trobe University, 2015

In 2014, Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria implemented a pilot project to evaluate the impact of Montessori-based activities on the engagement of people with dementia attending planned activity groups (PAG) at two sites in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria. Funding for the project was provided by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments under the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program. The overall goal of the project was to improve the engagement of people with dementia in purposeful activity by incorporating Montessori principles in planned activity groups.

Findings show that the application of the Montessori principles to activities statistically improved constructive engagement, pleasure and helping among clients in the two participating planned activity groups. The findings also suggest that the Montessori education may improve staff satisfaction and attitudes to people with dementia.


dementia journalArticle: Montessori programming for persons with dementia in the group setting:an analysis of engagement and affect by Shannon E Jarrott, Tsofit Gozali & Christina M Gigliotti,  Dementia, Vol. 7, no. 1 February 2008, p. 109-125

Implementing meaningful activities for persons with dementia reduces boredom, agitation, and negative affect. Previous research demonstrated that Montessori activities, modified for persons with dementia, facilitate positive engagement and affect. We conducted activities in small parallel group settings to support social interactions and reflect typical staff-to-client ratios in institutional activity settings. The amount and type of engagement and affect were compared during Montessori-based activities and regularly scheduled activities of 10 older adults with dementia at an adult day program. Participants exhibited more constructive engagement and less non-engagement during Montessori-activities compared to regular activities. Affect did not differ between the activity conditions. We conclude with a discussion of research and practice methodology modifications.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.


blog_screen_montessoriBlog: The Montessori Approach for people with dementia, Dementia Resources blog, July 2013

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.

This post includes a number of Montessori resources including those of Cameron J. Camp and the popular Relate Motivate Appreciate resource produced by Alzheimer’s Australia VIC.

How to design a more dementia-friendly home or assisted living environment

This post presents a range of resources on how to design or modify home and assisted living environments to be more dementia-friendly. Many of the resources in today’s post are books.

Remember, you are welcome to visit us in the library to take a look at these books and articles.  We can also send them out to you if that is not possible. At the end of this post, there are links to the web form you can use to request books or articles that are of interest – but remember, you must be a member of Alzheimer’s Australia VIC :-).

Dementia design for the home

10-Helpful-Hints-Dementia-Design-Home-MediumBook: 10 helpful hints for dementia design at home: Practical design solutions for carers living at home with someone who has dementia

This book focuses on practical design tips which may result in greater independence for people with dementia living in their home. Many ideas included in this book are low or no cost.  The book’s introduction sums its purpose up nicely:

‘People with dementia and those who live with and care for them have a lot to contend with. However, some everyday problems are actually unnecessary. This book is intended as a practical guide to making things easier through making adjustments in your home or wherever a person with dementia is living, or being cared for. (p.3)’

Book and website: Adapting Your Home: Supporting people in their home environment

Adapting your homeThis Alzheimer’s Australia publication and accompanying website has a multitude of helpful suggestions on how to transform your home so that it better supports and enables someone who has dementia. Making changes to the home can result in significant changes in well-being, health and independence for a person with dementia.

This resource includes information on personal considerations, improving lighting, specific detail on changes to different rooms to enhance their utility for a person with dementia, garden design and participation, other useful resources and a checklist for conducting a home audit.

Design for assisted living settings

Book: ArchitArchitetecture for an_webecture for an Ageing Population

This compilation of more than 30 outstanding projects in the areas of assisted living, continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes represents the best current work designed by architects for the ever-increasing population of the ageing and elderly. Each project is presented with photographs, detailed plans and statistics, illuminating the high level of research, planning and community involvement that goes into these advancements in living environments for seniors.

designing interiors for people with dementiaBook: Designing interiors for people with dementia, Richard Pollock

The interiors of buildings can be designed to compensate for the disabilities arising from dementia, including impaired memory, especially recent memory; impaired learning; impaired reasoning; high levels of stress; increasing dependence on the senses, yet often impaired visual perception.  If we provide the right environment, we can help people to remain as independent as they can be.  This book focuses primarily on fixtures and fittings in the context of interior design.

DesigningMentalHealthUnitsBook: Designing mental health units for older people, Mary Marshall

People with dementia who are admitted to older people’s mental health units are usually acutely distressed. They need an environment which is calm, quiet, understandable and safe. Dementia-friendly design is a non-pharmaceutical intervention in itself. It also provides the optimal setting for the full range of interventions that people with dementia in older people’s mental health units will receive. It is almost cost neutral and simply requires a real understanding of the impairments that old age and dementia bring, and which are especially complex when combined.

AAA_NovDec14Article: Bad buildings and challenging behaviours, Colm Cunningham and Rebecca Forbes, Australian Ageing Agenda, November – December 2014

When good design features are missing it’s much more likely that people with dementia will display excess BPSD as a result of the confusion and frustration caused by their environment.

EBDjournalJournal: Evidence Based Design, Journal 1: Aged Care: Evidence-based strategies for the design of aged-care environments

This free, PDF-based journal focuses it’s first issue on design of aged care facilities. Over 1,190 research publications were reviewed, with only those articles most relevant to the design process selected.
Issue 01 of the EBD journal is essential reading for anyone developing a new aged care facility, or remodelling an existing one. Containing globally relevant, detailed case studies, evidence based design strategies, and articles about future trends, the Aged Care Issue of EBD Journal will assist you with brief development, design and facility management.

 Other environmental considerations

hearing, sound and the acoustic environmentBook: Hearing, sound and the acoustic environment for people with dementia, Maria McManus and Clifford McClenaghan

This book is one of a series published by Hammond Press to assist providers, architects, commissioners and managers to improve the design of buildings which are used by people with dementia. The quality of the acoustic environment is a vital component of good dementia-friendly design. People need to be able to hear well in order to make sense of it and in order to function at the highest level possible. It is essential that adaptations which simplify and clarify the acoustic environment, and which reduce discomfort and auditory ‘clutter’ are put in place. Good acoustics can actively contribute to ensuring that a person with dementia can communicate and remain included within the community within which they live, be that a care home, supported housing scheme or hospital care.

lightandlightingdesignBook: Light and lighting design for people with dementia, David McNair, Colm Cunningham, Richard Pollock, Brain McGuire

This book is allso from the series published by the Hammond Press to assist providers, architects, commissioners and managers to improve the design of buildings which are used by people with dementia. It provides guidance on appropriate lighting design for environments used by people with dementia and is relevant for new-builds, refurbishments and alterations to residential buildings. The visual sense can act as a critical tool, allowing the person with dementia to make sense of their environment and maximise their remaining abilities. As a result, good lighting design can enable a person with dementia to experience more independence, have more of a choice and thus retain more dignity.

AJDCdec13jan14Article: The importance of colour in dementia design, Debbie de Fiddes, Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol. 2 No. 6, December 2013/January 2014

In the first of a series of articles explaining the connection between colour and lighting and the impact thoughtful design can have on the living environment for people with dementia, Debbie de Fiddes explains why colour is so important.

AJDC_AprMay2014Article: The power of colour, Debbie de Fiddes, Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol. 3 No. 2, April/May 2014

In the second article about the impact of thoughtful design on the living environment for people with dementia, Debbie de Fiddes continues to explore the role of colour and explains how it can be used as a therapeutic tool.

Interested in an article or book?

You can request books or articles here. Remember, you do need to be a member of Alzheimer’s Australia VIC!  Find out more about joining here.

 

Creating a dementia-friendly nation – Dementia Awareness Month

dementia friendly nationEvery September we work extra, extra hard to draw Australia’s attention to dementia and this September is no exception. Our focus this year is Creating a dementia-friendly nation.  A dementia-friendly nation encourages Australians to become dementia-aware and to have a better understanding of what it is like for a person to live with dementia. We are keen to help communities become dementia-friendly, where people with dementia feel understood, engaged, included and valued.

During September there will be a range of events that you may be interested in attending. Here’s an excerpt from the calendar, you can find the full schedule of events here:

14 September: Memory Walk and Jog Geelong. Find out more info or register for this event.

18 September: Dementia Awareness Month Public Lecture: Dementia-friendly concepts and communities by Steve Milton. Steve Milton is one of three directors of Innovations in Dementia, a not-for-profit community interest company in the UK. Innovations in Dementia work with people with dementia, partner organisations and professionals to develop and test projects that enhance the lives of people with dementia. Steve takes a leading role on dementia-friendly communities – and despite their small size – Innovations in Dementia’s work in this area has been highly influential in the UK, which made the creation of dementia-friendly communities a priority of the Prime Ministers Dementia Challenge in 2012. Register for this event. Or download a flyer with more information on the event.

21 September: World Alzheimer’s Day

Activities are planned for all over Victoria, take a squiz at the Calendar of Events which includes detail on Melbourne-based and regional events. Whether you’re in Glen Waverley, Leongatha or Mildura, we have something for you.

 

 

 

Recent additions to our collection

Hot pies! Cold drinks! Lovely new resources!

Nothing ignites a librarian’s interest like a padded envelope stuffed with new materials for our collection. Seriously, nothing.  Note to self: get out more.

Below is a curated list of the latest and greatest resources for you. There’s YouTube, there are books, there are journal articles.  Remember, if you are interested in borrowing anything you can, in fact, we encourage you to.  Of course, you’ll need to be a member, which you can find out more about here. For the cost of a cafe meal or two, you can get a whole year’s worth of brain food.  So very worthwhile!

YouTube: Love, Loss and Laughter – Living with Dementia, Fire Films Australia

A filmmaker’s devotion to her grandmother, who has been living with dementia for 15 years, has been the inspiration behind a film that shares the story of the international photographic exhibition, Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Dementia Differently.

Corinne Maunder, Producer, Fire Films Australia, said the Love, Loss and Laughter exhibition presented an ideal opportunity to create a meaningful piece about dementia. As an entry in the inaugural Reel Health International Health Short Film Festival, the film explores the messages behind the photos that comprised a six month tour in Australia.

“While making the film I learnt that even though dementia is a condition that people live with, it doesn’t mean a person should be isolated from the everyday activities that they can still enjoy in so many ways.

“The project made me appreciate even more, the time that I have with my grandmother and my mother and aunt’s unswerving dedication as carers,” Ms Maunder said.

American sociologist and social photographer, Cathy Greenblat took the photographs in the United States, France, India, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Monaco and more recently, in Australia. The exhibition has already touched the hearts of thousands of people as it has travelled throughout the America, Asia and Europe. A book of the same title was published in 2012.

Teen fiction book: Back to Blackbrick, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

BackBlackbrickPitched at late primary school kids and early secondary students.  This is a well-written, insightful and modern story of a young care-giver’s struggles to accept the many changes and responsibilities being forced upon him and still connect with the grandfather he knows and loves. It elegantly identifies and articulates the multi-layered strands of grief and loss and day-to-day coping that families experiencing dementia know all too well.

‘The ghosts in your life don’t ever really go away. Every so often they will whisper to you, and they will brush past you and maybe you will even feel their misty sweet breath on your skin. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it too much.’

Lost memories, lost times, lost lives – a stunning new debut novel. Cosmo’s brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. They’ve been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses. But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn’t want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is losing his mind. So on one of the rare occasions when Granddad seems to recognise him, Cosmo is bemused that he gives him a key to Blackbrick Abbey and urges him to go there. Cosmo shrugs it off, but gradually Blackbrick draws him in . . . Cosmo arrives there, scared and lonely, and is dropped off at the crumbling gates of a huge house. As he goes in, the gates close, and when he turns to look, they’re rusty and padlocked as if they haven’t been opened in years. Cosmo finds himself face to face with his grandfather as a young man, and questions begin to form in his mind: can Cosmo change the course of his family’s future?

Fiction: Green Vanilla Tea, Marie Williams

green vanilla tea

This story describes the impact of dementia on the whole family but in a positive light. It outlines the ways in which the boys find the personhood of their father amongst the diagnosis. The man who was their father is not lost. It also touches on the profound and ongoing impact living with someone with dementia and motor neurone disease has on a family. This is a story of human connection, of love and of grace.

When Marie Williams’ husband Dominic started buying banana Paddle Pops by the boxful it was out of character for a man who was fit and health conscious. Dominic, Marie and their two sons had migrated to Australia to have a life where they shared more family time — when gradually Dominic’s behaviour became more and more unpredictable. It took nearly four years before there was a diagnosis of early onset dementia coupled with motor neurone disease. Marie began to write, as she says, as a refuge from the chaos and as a way to make sense of her changing world. Her book, Green Vanilla Tea, has just been named winner of the 2013 Finch Memoir Prize.

Families and Carers: Living with Dementia: A Practical Guide for families and personal carers, edited by Esther Chang and Amanda Johnson

living with dfementiaLiving with Dementia: A practical guide for families and personal carers provides a sensitive, direct and highly accessible account of the complexities and challenges that a diagnosis of dementia presents. Written by aged care experts, including academics, nurses, medical practitioners and family advocates, Living with Dementia offers evidence-based research, supported by clear chapter outcomes, key terms and real-world vignettes. Practical strategies are integrated throughout to support caregivers, paid and unpaid, in the home environment and in residential care settings.

The book offers advice on how to manage everyday activities such as feeding, toileting, personal hygiene and grooming, and coping with challenging behaviour. In recognising the needs of the whole person, mental stimulation and spirituality are also addressed. An introduction to commonly used medications, complementary therapies and effective communication strategies are provided, as well as information about caring for the dying, and most importantly, looking after you – the carer.

Whether you are an Assistant in Nursing, an Enrolled Nurse, a family member or a friend caring for a loved one, Living with Dementia will assist you to move beyond the negative perceptions, and enable a meaningful life for the person with dementia, within the limitations of the disease.

Fiction: Angela and the Cherry Tree, Raphaele Frier and Teresa Lima

angela_and_the_cherry_tree_webThis lovely picture book can be enjoyed by all ages.  Don’t be deceived into thinking it’s only for kids, the lyrical story has aspects that can be explored and understood in different ways depending on your age and personal experience.  This is a story that I would happily read with my four year old and he would think it was a lovely tale about a grandmother and her (imaginary) grandchild.  I would interpret it as an attempt to imagine and explain what it might be like to experience dementia. Whatever your take on the story is, its gorgeous, heart-warming with beautiful illustrations.

“Angela wakes up full of hope. She is expecting a visitor. She prepares her hair, puts on perfume and bakes her speciality, shortbread cookies. She waits, impatiently at times, and finally the little girl arrives.

Angela and the Cherry Tree provides a touching insight into the mind of a person suffering from dementia. It is a rare and poignant picture book, handling a sensitive subject with respect and dignity. Its insights and beauty are derived from perceptive, lyrical detail and stunning illustrations.”

DVD: You’re looking at me like I live here but I don’t, Scott Kirschenbaum

you are looking at me_webPersonally, I greatly enjoyed this unique, warts-and-all but incredibly respectful and dignified film about Lee Gorewitz, a person with dementia. Lee is an engaging, entertaining and likeable protagonist who effortlessly brings you into her world and you leave the richer for the time you have spent there with her.

This film may be confronting for some, with it’s clear-sightedness on the realities of day-to-day living with dementia, however as an example of person-centred thinking, Scott Kirschenbaum manages to capture and convey Lee’s essential personality above and beyond her diagnosis of dementia.

“In Danville, California, Lee Gorewitz wanders on a personal odyssey through her Alzheimer’s & Dementia care unit. From the moment she wakes up, Lee is on a quest – for reminders of her past, and her identity. A total immersion into the fragmented day-to-day experience of mental illness, YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE AND I DON’T is filled with charismatic vitality and penetrating ruminations that challenge our preconceptions of illness and aging. Here is one extraordinary woman who will not let us forget her, even as she struggles to remember herself.”

Person-centred dementia care: helping carers provide the best support possible

As I learn more about dementia I am awe-struck by the love and commitment that shines through the everyday challenges faced by both carers and people with dementia. It takes grace and courage to navigate the labyrinthine paths of dementia, with unexpected rays of warmth and sunshine, prolonged patches of shade and the odd storm.  The devastation that reverberates for the person with dementia, their family and their friends is not to be understated. Keeping the person, not the diagnosis, on the centre stage is diabolically difficult.

The collection we have for you today weaves a picture of the challenges, the triumphs and the love intertwined in person-centred dementia care.

Book: I’m Still Here, J. Zeisel

Im_Still_hereJohn Zeisel is an innovator in the nonpharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s. He argues that to maintain a quality life, it is essential to recognise which parts of the brain remain intact throughout the course of the disease. He shows how it’s possible to connect with those living with Alzheimer’s by engaging with abilities that don’t diminish over time, such as understanding music, art, facial expressions, touch and the deep need we all have to care for others. In this book John Zeisel outlines his groundbreaking approach and demonstrates how we can offer people with dementia a better quality of life and a connection to others and the world.

Journal: The Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 21, No. 4, July/August 2013

jdc214The Journal of Dementia Care is a multidisciplinary, bi-monthly journal aimed at all professionals working with people with dementia. It recognises that professional carers working with people with dementia have their own special demands which deserve a specialist publication.

Here’s the contents page from the latest edition, take a look and if you’re interested in any of the articles, check the bottom of the post.

Unlocking diagnosis, p. 12, Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, writes in response to Martin Brunet’s recent article in JDC, and argues that case finding will open the door to treatment and support. A response from Martin Brunet follows.

Creative spaces: a growing project, p. 13, Wendy Brewin enthuses about the many benefits arising from a project which began to develop a new garden in a care home – but grew into something so much more.

Developing a CST service in Norfolk, p. 15, Sarah Purdy and Gemma Ridel describe efforts to develop a consistent provision of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy programmes across one NHS Trust.

A bright future for innovative day support, p. 16, Angela Downing tells the inspiring story of the work involved in developing innovative day activities in Cornwall.

Tom’s Clubs: time together, p. 18, Kayleigh Orr, Julia Botsford and Kaye Efstathiou explain how this joint service for people with dementia and carers has developed.

Improving environments: new tools for the job, p. 20, Abigial Masterson, Sarah Waller and Maxine Grisley explain how a new set of tools to improve care environments has been developed, tested and put to good use.

Good prescribing in dementia: a brief guide, p. 23, Daniel Harwood explains how certain medications prescrived for older people are especially likely to cause troubling side effects for people with dementia.

Religious communities: what can they offer? p. 26, Peter Kevern and Mandy Walker report on the results of a small study which explored the role that the Anglican church community can play in supporting people with dementia.

Eden: how to bring meaning and freedom back into life, p. 29, Care staff tell Rachael Doeg what the Eden Alternative means to them, and UK co-ordinator Jane Burgess explains more.

Counselling in dementia: eliciting memories, p. 32, Mike Fox explains how counsellors can play an important role in helping people with dementia to remember their past.

Short reports, p. 34

  1. Attachment styles and attachment needs in people with dementia and family carers
  2. Predictive validity of the ACE-R and RBANs for the diagnosis of dementia

How do I access these articles?

Journal: The Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol 2 No 3, June/July 2013

AJDC_coverThe Australian Journal of Dementia Care is a multidisciplinary journal for all professional staff working with people with dementia, in hospitals, nursing and residential care homes, day units and the community. The journal is committed to improving the quality of care provided for people with dementia, by keeping readers abreast of news and views, research, developments, practice and training issues.

Again, I’ve included the contents page for your review.

Summit highlights needs of younger people with dementia, p. 9, Alzheimer’s Australia CEO Glenn Rees reports on the outcome of the Younger Onset Dementia Summit and what younger people identified as priority areas for action

Photo boards create picture of life, p. 10, An easy-to-make biographical tool to share stories of people with dementia, by Paula Bain

Alive to new possibilities, p.12, Tim Lloyd-Yeates from Alive! in the UK explains how to make best use of iPad technology when facilitating reminiscence sessions with people with dementia

Dementia as a roller-coaster, p.14, In the second of a series of books that have influenced his understanding of dementia, John Killick explains the impact of Christine Bryden’s book Who will I be when I die?

Sensory towels give mealtimes a lift, p.15, Jo Bozin explains how a simple award-winning aromatherapy program has improved the mealtime experience for residents and staff in one Melbourne facility

Strategies to improve the hospital journey, p.16, Geriatrician Clair Langford describes the complexities and challenges of providing hospital care for people with dementia and some of the strategies that can be used to reduce the length of hospital stays, improve the patient journey and, in some cases, avoid admission altogether

Bringing dementia design to acute hospital planning, p.20, Leanne Morton and Carol Callaghan report on the experience of bringing the principles of environmental design for people with dementia to the planning of an acute public hospital in NSW

Home alone with dementia, p.22, Living alone with dementia is not impossible, but carries with it the need for specialised services to support a potentially vulnerable but fiercely independent community. James Baldwin, Kylie Sait and Brendan Moore explain

‘Once you start writing, you remember more’, p.25, Liz Young, Jo Howard and Kate Keetch enthuse about ‘life writing’ work with people with dementia

The use of doll therapy to help improve well-being, p.25, Leah Bisiani and Jocelyn Angus discuss the role of doll therapy in working with people with dementia, and how it can be incorporated into a person’s present reality with dignity and respect

How to achieve effective, intuitive communication, p.31, Trevor Mumby outlines the ways in which we commonly miscommunicate, and shows effective communication methods for working with people with dementia

Sexualities and dementia: resources for professionals, p.34, Based on national and international literature and research by Dr Cindy Jones form Griffith University’s Centre for Health Practice Innovation, the Sexualities and Dementia – Education Resource for Health Professionals guide in the first of it’s kind in Australia.

The view from here: creating momentum for positive change, p.36, Kate Nayton, Elaine Fielding and Elizabeth Beattie describe how they developed a successful program to educate hospital staff about dementia care.

Research news section, p. 38, Includes articles on Montessori-based intervention for people with dementia. Italian-Australians’ experience of dementia caregiving. Carer beliefs about day centres and respite programs. Humour therapy found to reduce agitation in nursing homes. Psychological interventions for carers of people with dementia: a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative evidence.

How do I access these articles?

Book: Alzheimer’s: A Love Story, V. Ulman

I’m reading this book at the moment and it is an utterly truthful personal account of a daughter and sometimes-carer’s experience with Alzheimer’s.  When the last of Vivienne Ulman’s four children left home, she and her husband were poised to enjoy their freedom. Then, her mother’s Alzheimer’s intervened.

alzheimersLoveStoryIn Alzheimer’s: A Love Story, Ulman records with tender lyricism and searing honesty the progress of her mother’s Alzheimer’s, her own grief over the gradual loss of her beloved mother, and the way in which her parents’ enduring love for each other sustained them.

Into this she weaves an account of her family’s history, in particular her father’s rise from farm boy to confidant of prime ministers – achievements made possible by the loving strength of the woman by his side. In a reversal of roles, he amply returned this support.

This inspiring Australian story is a tale for the sandwich generation, squeezed on one side by concern for their children and on the other by anxiety about their parents. It is about illness, grief, and hardship, but it is also about love, determination, and joy.

Book: Connecting Through Music with People with Dementia: A Guide for Caregivers, R. Rio

ConnectingThruMusicFor people with dementia, the world can become a lonely and isolated place. Music has long been a vital instrument in transcending cognitive issues; bringing people together, and allowing a person to live in the moment. This user-friendly book demonstrates how even simple sounds and movements can engage people with dementia, promoting relaxation and enjoyment. All that’s needed to succeed is a love of music, and a desire to gain greater communication and more meaningful interaction with people with dementia. Even those who have lost many social and intellectual capabilities will still enjoy connecting with others through voice and rhythm, and be able to involve themselves in musical dialogue. Suitable for students or entry level professionals in music therapy, nursing, therapeutic recreation and care-related fields, Connecting Through Music with People with Dementia will also appeal to volunteers and family members caring for a person with dementia.

Website: Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Services

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic has a range of services which can be really useful for carers seeking for new ways to connect with a person with dementia.  As well as our National Dementia Helpline, we offer Counselling and Support, Telephone Outreach Programs, Support Groups, Living with Memory Loss Programs, Services for People with Younger Onset Dementia, Memory Lane Cafe’s, Multicultural Services, Education and Training for Families and Carers, Dementia Behavior Management Advisory Service. Check out the webpage for more information on each service.

Book: The 36-hour Day, N. L. Mace and P. V. Rabins

36hrdayThe 36-hour day is the definitive guide for people caring for someone with dementia. The new and updated edition of this best-selling book features thoroughly revised information on the causes of dementia, managing the early stages of dementia, the prevention of dementia, and finding appropriate living arrangements for the person who has dementia when home care is no longer an option.

Remember Me, Mrs V?: Caring for my wife: her Alzheimer’s and others’ stories, T. Valenta

MrsVBigA moving memoir of a husband caring for his wife, Marie, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 54. Tom describes his struggle of looking after his wife, arranging professional and voluntary in-home support and continuing to work. Ultimately he is forced to seek permanent residential care for Marie. There are thirteen cameos of other carers and how they dealt with a family member who was stricken with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. This book will be of great assistance to all men and women caring for a loved one.

The Montessori Approach for people with dementia

RelateMotivateAppreciate-Bklet_blog

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.