The Montessori Approach to Activities for Aged Care and Dementia Care
Montessori Activities Programme at Foxburrow Grange
Let's be honest, boredom is the true plague and concern of many, associated with word nursing home. Whilst many well-meaning activity and wellbeing co-ordinators plan one-size-fits-all group activities to address this, they often fail to stimulate many residents. Foxburrow Grange however has become one of the few UK care homes to qualify our staff and provide the progressive and innovative Montessori method of working with our residents, most of whom live with cognitive and/or physical impairments. We adopted the Montessori for Aged Care approach based on much research and efficacy which shows that it has the potential to change the lives of people within care communities.
Montessori for aged care and dementia is focused on enabling individuals to keep the independence they still have. A person with dementia in particular who may be losing their motor skills and other major areas of function quickly become dependent on caregivers to perform even the most basic tasks. Through Montessori-inspired activities that facilitate use of these skills, aging adults can maintain functionality longer and extend their independence.
Montessori activities are tailored toward the individual and are offered rather than forced, Within a prepared environment, our activities and wellbeing co-ordinators will rotate activities to keep things interesting too. An activity can range from identifying and pairing socks to recognising a map of a country on a puzzle and putting the pieces together. These activities in turn stimulate parts of the brain which triggers memories and sequences to complete that task.
Activities and materials tend to be 'self-correcting' too which don't require intensive oversight from a co-ordinator By engaging in self-correcting and learning activities, skills can be developed without correction from any perceived authority figure, which could trigger shame or low self-esteem. A further outcome being that mistakes are not failures, but rather opportunities to learn. Another aspect is that Montessori activities will often include sensory elements that appeal to one of more of the senses.
Finally a lot of what makes an activity 'Montessori' is not just the activity itself but the way it is implemented within the environment. We provide a prepared environment which an organised, clean, spacious, warm, and inviting space in which the activities take place.