From Can’t To Can Do! Redesigning Dementia CareMontessori for Aging and Dementia

Caring for individuals living with dementia can pose challenges for everyone concerned.

The problematic behaviors that are thought to be the hallmark of dementia often lead to frustration, upset, and chaos in relationships and in the caretaking environment — and stressed-out, overworked, exhausted caretakers.

There is a better way.

Attend our comprehensive two-day course taught by an international Montessori expert Jennifer Brush.  This course is offered in-person at various locations in the US and around the world.  It is also offered live using video teleconferencing platforms.  This course is the prerequisite for the AMI Montessori Certification.  For those who cannot attend an in-person workshop, Brush Development offers a self paced online class, although the online version does not include hands on practice with materials or interactive experiences due to the nature of the course.  To learn more about the different courses, read How To Get Started with Montessori

Each segment is carefully designed to give you simple, actionable solutions you can implement today and dramatically improve your experience of caring for individuals living with dementia.

As you skillfully and compassionately put to use what you learn in this course, you’ll see the behavior of those you’re caring for transform — and your own role become much easier and more fulfilling.

Inside the course you’ll:

  • Understand the real reason why elders become depressed, exit seek, and walk about — and learn the exact steps you can take to prevent these behaviors from happening (instead of simply trying to “manage” them)
  • Discover a powerful (and little-known) approach to dementia care that will totally change your perspective on aging and dementia
  • Learn the first thing you should do to create a sense of community between staff and residents (it’s not what you think)
  • Create an engaging life enrichment program (appropriate for people at a variety of cognitive levels) in a way that transforms the culture of a long-term care center and ultimately frees up staff time dramatically
  • Learn the process for changing a ho-hum activity program into a dynamic and engaging person-centered program that keeps people interested and has them coming back for more
  • Successfully reduce or eliminate the repetitive questioning behaviors that so often characterize those living with cognitive impairment
  • Start using a simple tool for helping people with cognitive impairment participate in meaningful conversations, leading to an improved situation for both the care partner and the person with dementia
  • Identify the mistakes almost everyone unknowingly makes in wayfinding and signage, leading to confusion and discord — and find out how to correct them
  • Develop the skills to effectively communicate with people with dementia, so they easily understand what you are trying to convey
  • Discover how to help people with dementia learn new or previously known information. Yes, people with cognitive impairment can learn and retain new information! We’ll show you how, step by step.

…and much more

Todas nuestras diapositivas y folletos han sido traducidos al Español. Si vives en una área de habla hispana y cuentas con un traductor simultáneo, Jennifer está feliz de llevar su taller a tu comunidad.

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We combine dementia care best practices with a Montessori philosophy.

From Can't to Can Do! is a Leader in the Industry

It’s popular because this approach enhances independence and quality of life for people living with dementia by creating an environment in which they can succeed. Developed from years of experience, Jennifer Brush has created an innovative program that meets the AMI Standards for Montessori for Aging and Dementia.

We have combined Dr. Montessori’s philosophy of learning and living with what we know about aging and dementia care best practices. It is not a technique, task or intervention. It’s a way of living one’s life to the fullest extent possible. The Montessori Philosophy focuses on respecting individuals, observing in order to learn about the person, encourage independence in a specially prepared environment, providing meaningful work, and acknowledging that learning and engagement can occur anywhere.

We help communities to create:

  • A prepared environment for elders
  • Meaningful activities and roles that match the people's cognitive abilities
  • Materials that are visually and physically accessible all throughout the community
  • Competent care partners who practice with elders to help them relearn previous roles or enjoy new ones.
  • Activities and roles that happen as a normal course of the day, just like they would if the elder was living at home.
  • A flow of the day during which people are doing different chores and hobbies on their own or in small groups
  • A home where elders choose materials freely and are able to responds to their own internal needs

When you take the in-person workshop you earn two certificates: a Certificate of Completion from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) as well as one from Brush Development that includes 12 NCCAP approved continuing education units. You will then be qualified to further your study by enrolling in the Montessori Practitioner Certification Course with Jennifer Brush and her team of experts.

Colleagues and attendees have used the workshop and certification course information to:

  • Reduce psychotropic medications in their communities
  • Increase levels of activity engagement in persons living with dementia
  • Create a higher-quality of life for the individuals in their communities
  • Improve family and staff satisfaction
  • Become a mentor for Montessori implementation in their care setting

How do you want to live when you’re 80?

You want to be independent, you want to be active, you want control of your life, you want purpose. Individuals with dementia want the same. That’s what From Can’t to Can Do! will help you create in your community.

This workshop is for:

  • Montessori teachers who would like to use their skills with a different population
  • Family members
  • Social workers
  • Nurses
  • Rehab therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Nursing assistants
  • Administrators
  • Life enrichment staff
  • Care providers who are looking for non-pharmacological interventions for dementia and want to reduce the use of psychotropic medications

Workshop participants will receive:

  • Certificate of Attendance for Workshop from the Association Montessori Internationale and Brush Development
  • Pre-qualification status for the Practitioner’s Certification Course
  • Handouts you can use to identify the needs and desires and roles of your patients
  • Assessment tools
  • A guide of available dementia programs that you can use to create a better environment in your care community
  • Activities you can implement or teach your staff to implement
  • Step by step directions to implement Spaced Retrieval
  • Guidelines for setting up a Montessori program of your own
  • Tools that will improve engagement, activities, and communication skills for those in your community
  • Ways to modify the physical environment to support people with dementia
  • Solutions to the key issues such as falls, staff satisfaction and reduction of psychotropic medication
Attend a Workshop
Schedule a Private Workshop

Video: Redesigning Dementia Care using the Montessori Philosophy

Montessori for Aging and Dementia is an approach to life that supports each individual in engaging in their community in a purposeful way.

Jennifer Brush

Jennifer A. Brush, M.A., CCC/SLP

AMI Certified Montessori Trainer and Trainer of Trainers

Taught by Jennifer Brush, an AMI Certified Montessori Trainer, one of just two dementia care experts in the US on the International Advisory Board for Montessori for Aging and Dementia, and the only person in the US who is a Trainer of Trainers and teaches this AMI approved program.

Contact Jennifer

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Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP
Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP

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 over 25 years 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 International (AMI) Advisory Board for Montessori for Aging and Dementia.  She is the only AMI Certified Educator for Montessori for Aging and Dementia in the US.

Jennifer is the author of 5 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 the field of speech-language pathology and publishing 2 books on the subject.

Montessori for Elder and Dementia Care


This indispensable guide to Montessori for elders makes it possible for any care provider to understand and implement this innovative approach to aging.

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