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“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.

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.

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.

What is Montessori for Dementia?

By |2021-02-12T18:39:30+00:00July 24th, 2020|aging, caring, dementia, Montessori, Person-Centered Care|

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.

Simple In-Room Activity Idea

By |2021-02-01T21:09:35+00:00April 20th, 2020|Montessori, Preserved Abilities|

Many of you have written to share your challenges and successes over the past few weeks and to ask for simple activity ideas that can be done easily in one’s bedroom on a tray table. Here is an idea for a simple activity that can help an individual to maintain fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while feeling a sense of purpose by caring for his or her belongings.

Two Revolutionary New Montessori Communities

By |2020-03-30T16:08:03+00:00March 30th, 2020|caring, Design, Montessori|

Amaran Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will provide Albuquerque with an innovative approach to senior care. The community, currently under construction, is scheduled to open November 2020. The vision for Amaran is a holistic care center that will weave together the concepts of Montessori learning and respectful care for the aging. Nonna’s Intergenerational Christian Montessori is located in Wayzata, Minnesota and is the first of its kind, implementing the philosophy of Maria Montessori for both children and elders. Opening their doors in February 2019, Nonna’s has just celebrated their first year of business.

Simplicity is Often Best: Engaging Elders with Dementia

By |2020-03-30T15:59:58+00:00March 30th, 2020|dementia, Montessori|

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to the materials we use for engaging elders. Most of us eagerly welcome new ideas for roles and activities. I’ve been known to come up with some pretty elaborate concepts to try and shake things up, but I have learned that keeping it simple usually works best. One of my favorite materials are Three-Part Cards (also known as Nomenclature Cards). These cards can be used to help elders maintain and improve language skills such as reading and naming. In addition, the materials can address sequencing, attention to task, fine and gross motor skills, turn taking, conversation and reminiscence.