Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?

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Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?

Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?

Culture change takes dedication, leadership, and a willingness to look at life differently. It means we have to try new things and be willing to be uncomfortable in order to grow.

I love when I have the opportunity to show off a person-centered community that is putting the Montessori philosophy into action. Lutheran Senior Life, Passavant Community, has worked with me for the past year with one goal in mind: Use the Montessori philosophy to help their residents to live an abundant life.

After receiving some grant funding, I helped Passavant Community step by step through this culture change process. Their personal care household was transformed through fresh paint, renovated activity areas, a refreshed sunroom for gardening, new wayfinding cues, and other redesigned spaces.

After staff was trained in the Montessori for Aging and Dementia two-day program, they focused on identifying individual and small group activities and personalized roles that are available every day and that match the person’s cognitive abilities. Materials were neatly organized and labeled and physically accessible all throughout the household. Care partners practiced with elders to help them relearn previous roles or enjoy new ones.

The more the elders did this, the more their skills improved until eventually they were able to do most or all of the activities on their own. Now elders clean and set the dining room tables, pour their own beverages, and help themselves to drinks and snacks. They care for plants, arrange flowers, fold laundry, make beds, dust, sweep, lead sing alongs, and pass out supplies for group activities. Some have begun to swim, reminisce with sports memorabilia, and don jewelry and hats from a group fashion corner. Some craft, engage in topic specific puzzles and sorting activities, and play music with various instruments. Few elders can be found in their rooms as they are out during the day enjoying these activities.

Activities and roles happen as a normal course of the day, just like they would if the elder was living at home. The result is a flow of the day during which people are doing different chores and hobbies on their own or in small groups. Montessori isn’t a specific time, it’s a way of life.

Watch this video and see for yourself how one community has been willing to embrace change and create an abundant life!

Don’t miss your opportunity to expand your comfort zone and embrace change. Sign up for an upcoming workshop!

By | 2020-03-30T15:17:06+00:00 October 4th, 2019|aging, Montessori, Videos|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jennifer Brush
Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP is an award-winning Dementia Educator, author and consultant. Passionate about enriching the lives of people with dementia, Jennifer is on a mission to put the focus of care on the person’s preferences, interests and abilities. With her nearly three decades of industry experience, including leading countless live national and international trainings, facilitating ground-breaking research, and managing innovative person-centered projects for the Ohio Council for Cognitive Health, Jennifer flawlessly bridges the gap between care communities and the individuals they serve. Jennifer serves on the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Advisory Board for Montessori for Aging and Dementia and she is the only AMI Certified Trainer of Trainers for Montessori for Aging and Dementia in the US. She is also adjunct faculty at St. Nicholas Montessori College in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Jennifer is the author of several nationally recognized books on dementia including the silver-medal winning Creative Connections in Dementia Care and I Care, the gold-medal winning work that also received a 5-star rating as a Reader Favorite. Jennifer is widely known for her innovative work in the Spaced Retrieval memory intervention, pioneering this area of study in speech-language pathology and publishing 2 books on the subject. Look for Jennifer’s new co-authored book about Person-Centered Care, to be published by Wiley in 2020.
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