12 Key Principles of Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®
The “12 Key Principles of Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®” refer to a set of guidelines that stem from the Montessori educational philosophy, but they are specifically adapted to enhance the lives of older adults, particularly those with dementia. This approach is a unique application of Montessori methods, traditionally used in early childhood education, to elder care and dementia care.
When adapted for use with older adults, especially those with dementia, the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® principles focus on respecting the individual, offering meaningful activities, and creating an environment that promotes independence and a high quality of life.
Dr. Cameron Camp, a noted psychologist and gerontologist, is credited with adapting Dr. Maria Montessori’s educational principles for use with older adults, particularly those with dementia. Dr. Camp’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating how the Montessori method, originally designed for children’s education, can be effectively applied to improve the quality of life for older adults and individuals with cognitive impairments like dementia.
The Montessori method, known for its focus on independence, choice, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, has been found to have remarkable benefits when applied to dementia care. Dr. Camp’s adaptation of these principles involves creating environments and activities that focus on engaging and stimulating cognitive abilities, promoting independence, and enhancing self-esteem in older adults.
This approach often includes personalized activities that are meaningful to the individual, allowing them to use their remaining skills and abilities in a supportive environment. It also involves adapting the physical environment to be more dementia-friendly, fostering a sense of community, and emphasizing respect and dignity in all interactions.
Dr. Camp’s adaptation of the Montessori method for dementia care has gained significant attention and is implemented in various settings, including long-term care homes and memory care programs, to improve the well-being and quality of life of older adults with cognitive impairments.
Here are the 12 Key Principles of Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®
1. The activity should have a purpose and capture interest.
2. Invite the person to participate.
3. Offer choice whenever possible.
4. Demonstrate more. Talk less.
5. Physical Skills. Focus on what the person can do.
6. Match your speed to theirs. Slow down!
7. Use visual hints, cues or templates.
8. Give the person something to hold.
9. Go from simple to more complex.
10. Break a task down into steps.
11. To end, ask: “Did you enjoy doing this?” and “Would you
like to do this again?”
12.There is no right or wrong way to do an activity. Think
©2021 Cameron J. Camp III & Associates, LL
The Montessori Alzheimer Center is the official training partner for the Center for Applied Research in Dementia.
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