Wellness Care Farm
Living in Long Term Care
The Montessori Approach for Dementia
The Montessori approach for dementia care is based on the educational philosophies of childhood educator Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Cameron Camp discovered that Dr. Montessori’s philosophies and principles could be effectively adapted as an approach for dementia care.
Declarative vs. Procedural Memory
It is important to understand the type of memory that remains with a person’s dementia. Procedural memory includes how to eat, how to dress, or reading. Declarative memory includes family names, how to get to the grocery store, events. The memory that dementia targets must be addressed in a supportive environment.
Montessori Principles for Dementia
Putting the Montessori Method into Practice
The Montessori approach focuses on re-discovering and supporting the person behind the dementia. Activities with meaning and purpose are put back into people’s lives, based on their needs, interests, skills and abilities. People with dementia often feel they are always being told what to. They are adults and often do not need to be told, but they do want to be needed and feel useful. Montessori methods help reduce and prevent challenging behaviours associated with dementia. Boredom and loneliness are reduced through activities that embrace roles, routines, and improve self-esteem. When the person isn’t capable of “remembering” important information, the cues should be available in his/her environment. When adopting a montessori approach the first step is to get to know your resident – their history, family, interests, abilities, and activities that help, maintain or improve physical function. What are their strengths?
Hands-on Activities with Animal Assisted Therapy