Jennifer Brush

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Jennifer Brush

About Jennifer Brush

Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP is an award-winning author and consultant. 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 the Program Director, Montessori Education for Dementia, St. Nicholas Montessori College in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland. When not teaching she can be found hiking with her standard poodle and practicing her roundhouse kick at her local dojo. Look for Jennifer’s latest book, Montessori for Elder and Dementia Care, published by Heath Professions Press.

“But, we can’t leave materials out in our community – the residents will take things back to their room!”

By |2021-04-05T13:16:02+00:00March 17th, 2021|Montessori|

In a Montessori community for older adults, a wide range of interesting materials are available on accessible shelves and tables from which individuals can choose. This idea often makes staff in long term care communities nervous when they first learn about it. “You mean everything is out all of the time? You don’t put it away and then bring it to them? Everyone in our community would take things into their rooms. This is never going to work!” I hear this at every single workshop I teach. It can work.

What should I say when residents ask me to take them home?

By |2021-03-17T15:09:42+00:00March 17th, 2021|alzheimers, care partner, communication, dementia. alzheimers|

One of the most common questions I am asked by my clients is, “What do I say when residents repeatedly ask me to take them home?” If you work in long term care, you have encountered this before. You may have told the person, “You live here at Sunny Acres now.” Or you may have tried redirecting the person by changing the topic and never answered the question. Do you like to be redirected and ignored when you ask a question? My guess is no. People with memory loss can feel ignored too. Either response you tried likely did not solve the problem, and now both you and the elder feel bad. So, what do you do?

Behind Closed Doors in Long Term Care During COVID-19

By |2021-02-12T18:31:17+00:00December 14th, 2020|COVID-19, long term care, nursing home|

Seniors living in long term care communities have been more isolated than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people with advanced dementia are not safe behind closed doors. They are often dependent on trained caregivers to help them meet their basic daily needs; that is why they are living in long term care communities. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is hitting long-term care communities hard and they are attempting to stop the spread by keeping people in their rooms behind closed doors.

Introducing Montessori for Elders in Norway

By |2021-02-03T17:26:39+00:00November 30th, 2020|aging, alzheimers, COVID-19, dementia, dementia. alzheimers, Montessori|

Elisabeth Rydland and Carolyn Magnussen are the first AMI Certified Practitioners in Montessori for Dementia and Ageing in Norway. They share a new, rewarding perspective, one that provides a deeper value to the Montessori philosophy and enhances quality of life for elders and people with dementia.

An Unusual Companion During COVID-19

By |2021-02-01T20:57:31+00:00November 5th, 2020|behaviors, communication, COVID-19, dementia, dementia. alzheimers, Uncategorized|

Seniors living in long term care communities have been more isolated than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic. It is especially confusing and isolating for people living with dementia. Many have been quarantined in their rooms for long periods of time and have little contact with others. Here are some unexpected but helpful tools to help meet their basic needs of companionship and communication.

How to Use Montessori Materials with Older Adults

By |2021-02-12T18:20:10+00:00October 23rd, 2020|aging, Montessori|

Just as Montessori classroom teachers guide and support students instead of lecturing to them, Montessori staff guide and support elders instead of doing everything for them. Staff and elders work shoulder to shoulder as equally valued members of a shared community. Elders are invited to take on leadership roles in their areas of interest, such as leading a book discussion group or planning the menu for a holiday meal. Materials for these activities are neatly organized, labeled, and physically accessible all throughout the living area. Staff guide elders with these roles and activities until they build new routines, and their skills improve to the point that most are able to enjoy these activities on their own. In this post, we explore what Montessori roles and activities for elders look like.