The “Joy of Doing” activity box was developed by Elisabeth Rydland and Carolyn Magnussen, from Montessori Care, thanks to a generous stipend they received from The Dam Foundation and the Norwegian National Public Health Association. The box contains 7 different activities, an activity book and downloadable theme books which have been created especially for people with dementia. In June 2023, Montessori Care delivered 300 free activity boxes to be used with adults with dementia.
The activities in the box and books stimulate and engage the whole person. They invite conversation and were created to give the person with dementia a sense of mastery and joy. Rydland and Magnussen draw on their expertise of over 30 years as Montessori educators when creating the materials and books. The levels can be made easier or more complicated as needed. They were specifically designed to offer elders and their care partners a wider variety of activities in which to engage. Both caretakers and their families are often at a loss for level appropriate and interest relevant activities when seeking to engage people with dementia. One woman said that her father, who suffers from vascular dementia with very disrupted speech, was able to complete all of the phrases from the idiom cards. Even more surprising was that for several hours after using the cards, he spoke in semantically correct sentences! His wife said, “It is just like I have my husband back!”
Montessori Care downloadable products will be available in English by Fall 2023. Follow their website to stay informed about new products.