Montessori is not just for the young ones we have in our care; Montessori is a way of life that can benefit us all at each stage of our lives. Now, many communities that care for the elderly are adapting the Montessori method to help clients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and the effects of strokes.
Montessori lessons build on these key factors: repetition, positive reinforcement, and inclusion of the senses. Lessons are developed to increase mental and physical abilities, with individuals receiving customized lessons that strengthen their unique abilities and skills. Lessons like the knobbed cylinders help rebuild the small muscles of the hand, while an activity like recognizing world flags encourages recall. Building lessons like the pink tower help to foster the memory of working in steps. The tower has to be built a certain way; forgetting a step will result in the tower falling or missing a piece.
Hearthstone Alzheimer Care is a leader in this Montessori-based approach to elder care. Their program description offers an interesting basic overview of how Montessori lessons and philosophy are used with patients.