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.
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.
Montessori philosophy, based on the principles of free choice and purposeful activity, has historically been focused on children’s education. However, its essential principles and practices are increasingly seen as critical to enhancing the lives of the older adults in our care. Central to both the Montessori philosophy and person-centered care are the core values of respect for the individual, the importance of knowing the person deeply, seeking and honoring the elder’s preferences over all aspects of his or her daily life, and creating a supportive environment that allows for continued participation in familiar and preferred activities, inside and outside.
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.
You may not realize it, but many of your employees are in the Sandwich Generation. The term Sandwich Generation is often used to describe individuals who are raising children and caring for their parents at the same time. Most are also managing a career and juggling a variety of other commitments. Sound familiar? You might [...]
I am very excited to announce a new collaboration between The National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP) and Brush Development Company. We have have partnered to offer health care professionals a Montessori for Dementia Engagement Certification. The Montessori for Dementia Engagement Certification curriculum provides a thorough introduction to using Montessori with elders and [...]
This year I collaborated on a wonderful story written and illustrated especially for elders with dementia called A Day on the Wind Seeker. People living with dementia are able to and enjoy reading a loud, but many of the books available in large print with high contrast graphics are childish and not designed for [...]
I am excited to be traveling to Ireland in Spring 2018 to teach my From Can't to Can Do! Montessori for Aging and Dementia workshop. All interested in Montessori for aging are invited to attend. Below is the announcement recently released by Saint Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland. Saint Nicholas Montessori College Ireland (SNMCI) [...]
Although we would all like our loved ones to age gracefully at home, there may come a time that our parent or spouse requires a level of care that we just can’t provide at home. Many of my clients ask me to help their family prepare for the transition when it’s time [...]
Last week, Association Montessori International held the first European Symposium on Montessori for Aging and Dementia in Prague. I was honored to be one of the featured speakers and chose to speak about making the connection between the Montessori classroom and a Montessori community for elders. I shared with the audience the difference and [...]