Credentialing: How to Become a Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® Credentialed Residence



Residence Credentialing in the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®


The Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® is an evidence-based approach to person-centered care and is the central philosophy behind everything we do at the Montessori Alzheimer Center and CARD – Center for Applied Research in Dementia.

It is the perfect platform for your community to build a highly acclaimed memory care program that fits your organization’s identity.

The Montessori Alzheimer Center is the authorized Canadian licensee for Dr. Cameron Camp, Ph. D, who is the Director of Research and Development for CARD and, also, the originator of the adapted Montessori method.

The Center for Applied Research in Dementia® is rooted in applied translational research. CARD has a strong history of publishing on the effectiveness of the Montessori approach in peer reviewed academic journals. See below for an example of the outcomes achieved through Montessori-based programming:

Credentialing: Better outcomes for Assisted Living and LTC facilities:

  • Results after 1 year of Montessori-Based Dementia Training across 7 Assisted Living Facilities and 9 SNFs (Witt-Hoblit, Miller, & Camp 2016)
  • SNF: Skilled Nursing Facility | LTC: Long Term Care Facility

Through decades of applied research and practice, the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® for persons with dementia rests on these seven tenets:

It is possible to live well with dementia, just as persons live well with Down Syndrome, diabetes, or physical disabilities.

Equality, dignity, and respect are necessary for both residents and staff in long-term care communities to feel that they are welcome and they belong in the place where they live/work.

Responsive behaviors in dementia represent unmet needs. Repetitive questions, wandering, agitation, and related behaviors drop dramatically when residents live in a community that supports their biological, psychological, and social needs.

Meaningful engagement is the best medicine. Quality of life in long-term care is highest when persons with dementia are engaged in purposeful activities that fit their abilities, have a role in their community, and have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Independence matters. By providing the minimum amount of assistance necessary to accomplish a task, persons with dementia maintain abilities and maximize autonomy for longer.

Focusing on strengths rather than deficits enables residents to adopt meaningful community roles and enables staff to create an environment that supports engagement.

Persons with dementia can still learn. This can apply to personal care tasks, activities, use of external aids, navigating new environments, and much, much more.

We Do Things Differently

At the Montessori Alzheimer Center we want to transform the long-term care industry.

Becoming a Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® community includes more than a “one and done” education session for staff.

To do this, we believe that training on the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® must include both education and guidance for your staff as they adopt and implement the Montessori principles.

Because we want your community to succeed with the Montessori approach, we are here to help make that happen.

Together with our staff of educators and coaches, your community will work to learn, implement, and achieve.


Learning starts with a series of training sessions for a significant number of staff members.

During this time, staff will learn to think differently about dementia and how to enable residents to become more independent, take on meaningful roles in their community, and make choices for themselves and about their environment.


Implementation takes place following initial training.

Every month, a “Champions Group” of staff from your community will meet with a Montessori Alzheimer Center coach to participate in Deep Dives and Skill Development sessions.

Through these sessions, the Champions Group works with our staff to identify obstacles to implementation, brainstorm ways to embody the Montessori principles, further build and refine skills, and create a culture of dignity, equality, and respect.


Achieve better outcomes in your community with the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®.

At the beginning of your credentialing journey, we will ask you to identify target areas of organizational improvement.

Together with our team, you will track the level of improvement in these target areas as your community adopts the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®.  

As you meet person-centered care milestones, you will earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold credentialed certificates, and your community will be listed on our web directory of Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® communities .



The key to success is building a long-term, sustainable program that fits your community’s culture and environment.

Thus, every Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® community is unique.

Below are target milestones, which indicate that a community is on a path toward building a long-term, sustainable MIL community.



Staff participants representing all departments attend initial training in Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®.

  • Various evaluation assessments are used to guarantee successful application and integration of the Montessori principles.
  • Name tags are in use for both staff and residents.
  • A minimum of two resident committees have been formed and meet regularly.
  • A system is in place for residents to volunteer for purposeful community service activities, e.g., setting and clearing tables, assisting with food preparation, sweeping, dusting, charitable activities, decorating, etc.
  • Effective signage and environmental cues are in place.
  • MIL values and principles are posted in staff areas.
  • Staff regularly participate in MIL huddles to reinforce application of MIL values and principles.
  • A Visitor Center has been established to encourage activity-based family visits.
  • Multidisciplinary meetings ie: change of shifts – are regularly held to discuss Responsive Behaviors, along with follow-up to determine effects of interventions discussed and implemented. Staff members who deliver personal care as well as staff from a variety of departments such as housekeeping and dining are included in these teams.
  • Where possible residents are being given choice in dining, activities and daily schedules.
  • An action plan for moving forward to achieve silver level has been developed.



Bronze criteria, plus…
  • The community has a Mission Statement and Values Statement that emphasize respect, dignity, and equality as core values.
  • Mission Statement and Values Statement emphasize independence and community membership.
  • Ongoing training/in-servicing of newly hired staff by credentialed internal trainers.
  • Ongoing refresher training/in-servicing of staff by credentialed internal trainers, including the use of Appreciative Inquiry techniques.
  • Intake procedures include assessments of residents’ strengths, capacities, personal history, interests, likes and dislikes, and methods of calming.
  • Information regarding engaging the resident effectively is readily available for all staff interacting with the resident, and a system is in place to update that information.
  • Personalization of rooms, doorways to rooms, furniture in rooms, window boxes, photos, color of walls, etc. reflect residents’ personal preferences and tastes.
  • Residents have significant input in the use and naming of environmental features such as composition of gardens, selection and timing of music played, and names of common areas, etc.
  • Residents largely control and maintain community elements and the environment (e.g., maintaining libraries, posted schedules, setting up for activities and meals, etc.).
  • Staff members consistently encourage and enable residents to do as much for themselves as possible.
  • A self-assessment of the community has been completed and submitted (Forms provided).
  • An action plan is in place for achieving Gold-level criteria.



Bronze and Silver criteria, plus…
  • Information regarding engaging the resident effectively is readily available for all staff interacting with the resident, and a system is in place to update that information.
  • Job descriptions and staff evaluations reflect MIL values and principles.
  • At least one exemplary and innovative achievement in applying MIL principles must be demonstrated.
  • The community successfully completes a half-day MAC site visit.
  • Based on observations and feedback from the Montessori Alzheimer Center site visit, an action plan is developed. The action plan will outline what is needed to achieve any unmet criteria, as well as sustaining and expanding MIL within the community.


First in Canada!!


Please join us in congratulating…

Mme Christine Grégoire, Directrice General of LTC Manoir Soleil Chambly, Quebec, and her amazing management and staff.

Together they have now achieved Silver Level in the accreditation process of becoming a  Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® Credentialed Community.




Is it time to upgrade the quality of your residence?

If you’d like to explore the possibility of transforming your residence into a Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® Credentialed Community, please contact us today.


Authorized Canadian Training Partner of the Center for Applied Research in Dementia 

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