Montessori Thought for the Week

//Montessori Thought for the Week

Montessori Thought for the Week

Roles Help to Give our Lives Meaning 

A role is the ​purpose that someone has in a ​situation, ​organization, ​society, or ​relationship.  Every day in our lives we play a variety of roles.  We may be a mother, father, spouse, teacher, manager, child, neighbor, care partner, volunteer, etc.  Each of the roles we play have a variety of tasks and responsibilities associated with them.  We often identify certain roles with social status or standing.  Think about it- What is  one of the first things you often ask someone when meeting them?  “What do you do?” Our roles make us feel good about ourselves.  Following the Montessori philosophy, we want to give elders the opportunity to have roles taking care of themselves, others, and the community.

Try this:

List all of the roles you have in a typical week.

Thin about the elders for whom you care.  What roles do you think the elders had before living with dementia or living in a long term care community?

What are roles we can give back to elders?

Make a list of the elders for whom you are and the roles they would all enjoy doing.

How can we support them in doing this?

Will you volunteer to work someone so so they can regain a role?

Here are some roles and responsibility that elders in your community might enjoy:

Making one’s bed

Dusting one’s bedroom

Tidying one’s room

Folding laundry

Putting away laundry

Setting the table

Participating in meal preparation

Clearing the table

Wiping off the table

Greeting others at meals

Pouring beverages

Passing out snacks

Filling condiment containers

Sweeping the floor

Dusting the shelves

Cutting coupons

Folding letters/stuffing envelopes

Shredding papers


Watering the plants

Delivering mail

Giving a hand massage

Helping with manicures

Greeting visitors at special events

Planning menus on a committee

Filling the bird feeders

Reading to children

By | 2018-01-26T17:42:16+00:00 January 26th, 2018|Montessori|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jennifer Brush
Jennifer A. Brush, M.A., CCC/SLP has been working for over 20 years to change the face of dementia care in hospitals, assisted living communities, nursing homes and home care. Prior to establishing her own practice, Jennifer served for many years as the Executive Director of IDEAS Institute, a nonprofit organization that improves the lives of older adults through the conduct of applied research. She is an international speaker and recognized speech-language pathologist known for her work in the areas of memory, swallowing, and environmental interventions for people with dementia. She has served as the Principal Investigator on applied research grants that have examined issues pertaining to dementia, hearing impairment, dining, dysphagia, and the long-term care environment. Her research and consulting in the area of environmental modifications has resulted in improved functioning for people with dementia. Jennifer offers interactive and educational presentations and coaching that help clients bridge the gap between current research findings and the care needs of people with dementia. Jennifer Brush is the co-author of four books: Creative Connections in Dementia Care™; I Care; Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit™ (ECAT) and A Therapy Technique for Improving Memory: Spaced Retrieval. She is the author of Meal Time Matters and Meal Time Matters at Home, training programs that build nursing assistants' and home caregivers' skills related to dining, swallowing disorders, and safe feeding assistance. Jennifer has authored over 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals, served as guest editor of the journals Seminars in Speech and Language and Perspectives in Gerontology, volunteered as Chair of Professional Development in Gerontology for the American Speech Language Hearing Association Special Interest Group, and was an editorial reviewer for Jennifer is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Jennifer is honored to be appointed by the Executive Director of AMI to serve as an inaugural member of the Advisory Group for Montessori for Aging and Dementia. This group is responsible for writing the AMI standards for Montessori dementia programs. Jennifer presented her research in the area of dementia at the first international conference for Montessori environments for dementia in Sydney, Australia in 2014, and spoke at the annual AMI meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2015. She will return to Sydney in November, 2015 to speak about creating supportive environments for the aging.
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