Montessori Techniques Help People with Dementia
As a long-term fan of Maria Montessori's child-centred approach to education, I was intrigued to find that her principles are being applied to helping people with dementia relearn lost skills.
Staff at Moat House in Great Dunmow have worked closely with leading dementia consultant Dr Daniel Nightingale to introduce the methods, based on encouragement, structure and enhanced concentration.
Research has shown that careful use of Montessori techniques can help people living with dementia and memory loss not only to retain skills for longer but, in some cases, to relearn movement-based activities that they have forgotten.
The programme is concentrating particularly on eating skills, so that residents at the care home’s specialist dementia suite can maintain the dignity of dining independently.
Paul Walsh, Managing Director, Care and Operations at Retirement Villages Ltd, who own the home, said: “We always strive to deliver the very best care and support to our residents. The introduction of the Montessori methods into our dementia suites, with the help of Dr Nightingale, is a demonstration of how seriously we take that commitment. Every single one of our residents, whatever their daily challenges, deserves the very best support to enable them to live their life to the optimum. Simple activities like eating unaided can boost confidence in other areas.”
Shown here is Leah Dayes, who is spearheading the Montessori programme at Moat House.