Two Revolutionary New Montessori Communities

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Two Revolutionary New Montessori Communities

Photography by Dekker, Perish & Sabatini
Photography by Dekker, Perish & Sabatini

Designed with Montessori in Mind from the Ground Up

Brush Development is elated to be part of this new Montessori project! Amaran, meaning endless, everlasting, and unfading, will share its campus with Montessori ONE Academy to create a community founded on deep respect, honor and commitment to each individual member of its new community, as embodied in Montessori theory.

Amaran Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will provide Albuquerque with an innovative approach to senior care every human deserves. The community, currently under construction, is scheduled to open November 2020 and is designed based on Montessori Principles. The vision for Amaran is a holistic care center that will weave together the concepts of Montessori learning and respectful care for the aging. Amaran embraces local traditions, interests, and intergenerational relationships in a contemporary environment that focuses on engaging in purposeful living for its residents and the children of Montessori ONE Academy.

Amaran will be the only care community in New Mexico designed and built specifically with Montessori principles and its benefits for people living with dementia. Amaran will take the vision a step further by employing a full-time Montessori Guide, whose responsibilities will include assessment and creation of meaningful activities focusing on person centered care. All care partners will also be trained in the Montessori principles utilizing a new curriculum currently being developed by Jennifer Brush and Margaret Jarrell of Brush Development and the Founder/Director of Montessori ONE Academy, Tina Patel.

Intergenerational Montessori Program Engages Participants of all Ages

elders and children interaction in Montessori environmentelders and children interaction in Montessori environment

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 and recently shared their early learnings at the Leading Age Expo in Minneapolis, MN. The leadership team prepared for their venture by participating in the 2 day “From Can’t to Can Do!” workshop with Brush Development as well as the certification in Montessori for Aging and Dementia with Jennifer Brush. The training assisted the team to personalize the care of elders with the use of high contrast carefully designed name tags and environment, individual memory books that allow elders to share their story, assigning roles that promote autonomy and esteem, and creating practical life opportunities that match interests. “The training gave our team a guiding philosophy and a common set of goals to guide our program development”, say Michelle Thompson and Lisa TerHaar, co-founders of Nonna’s.

Nonna’s has also cultivated some unique features that have enhanced their programming. Obvious in the name, is the central role of intergenerational community. The elders and children gather daily at 11am to share in Bible stories, music, singing, and dance. This time has been significant in building meaningful relationships and sharing laughter. The outdoor garden provides opportunities for both ages to spend time tending to plants as well as harvesting and sampling fresh herbs and vegetables. Several therapy dogs rotate weekly visits, along with a brightly colored fish aquarium that brings nature indoors during the winter months. Caring for pets and plants promotes empathy and compassion for both age groups. Spiritual care and expression is woven into daily life at Nonna’s through prayer, Bible study/discussion, and singing of familiar hymns. Employing the Montessori philosophy in the context of a faith filled intergenerational community has created a joyful, novel day program that hopes to optimize the health of the developing child, as well as the health of the aging adult.

elders and children interaction in Montessori environment

By | 2020-03-30T16:08:03+00:00 March 30th, 2020|caring, Design, Montessori|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jennifer Brush
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 nearly three decades 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 Internationale (AMI) Advisory Board for Montessori for Aging and Dementia and she is the only AMI Certified Trainer of Trainers for Montessori for Aging and Dementia in the US. She is also adjunct faculty at St. Nicholas Montessori College in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Jennifer is the author of several 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 speech-language pathology and publishing 2 books on the subject. Look for Jennifer’s new co-authored book about Person-Centered Care, to be published by Wiley in 2020.
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