Montessori for Dementia and Ageing is an innovative approach to aged care. It empowers people living with dementia by creating an environment that allows them to live as independently as possible. Nurse, aged care expert and Director of Montessori Consulting in Australia, Anne Kelly offers Association Montessori Internationale training for carers and professionals on this approach with the Maria Montessori Institute in the U.K.
In a new article on www.elder.org she explains the advantages of this radical and person-centred way of supporting those living with dementia:
“It doesn’t matter how old we are, whether we’re four years of age, 40 years of age or 104 years of age, we all need a reason to get out of bed every day. Dr Montessori’s ethos was based on independence, meaningful engagement, high self-esteem, and the ability to make true choices. In essence, to have a reason to get out of bed every day, to feel valued. This is what transfers over into aged care.
“I’ve worked in nursing and aged care, in particular dementia, for about 40 years. The more experience I got in the area, the more concerned I became about the care that we deliver to older people.
“I just happened about 13 years ago to stumble across a Montessori activities workshop that was being delivered by Dr Cameron Camp from the U.S. Halfway through the morning the penny dropped. I thought: ‘this is the aged care holy grail that I’ve been looking for’. This is a way that we can honour and respect and work with our elders, whilst not robbing them of independence and dignity.”