Montessori Method Adapted for Those with Cognitive Deficits Innovative Proven Ways to Enrich Lives
The Montessori method is a new proven approach to living for persons with dementia.
It is based on the philosophy and methods of Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female M.D. in Italy and world renowned educator, which have been adapted for persons with dementia by Cameron Camp, Ph.D.
This innovative approach too combines rehabilitation principles and educational techniques using the physical and cognitive abilities available to individuals.
The key values of this approach are respect, dignity, and equality.
We envision a new paradigm of care in which persons diagnosed with dementia are viewed as individuals with lives worth living.
Within this new paradigm, abilities, interests and preferences will be respected, encouraged and maximized.
Providing choice throughout the day is central to all interactions.
This method has been proven to successfully engage persons with dementia and related disorders across all levels of dementia, as well as serving as means of implementing person-centered approaches to care and is being implemented around the world.
Thus, the focus of this method is to foster development of a true community for residents with dementia, their families, and the staff members who provide care for them.
Simply put, the goal is to create environments for persons with dementia where we ourselves would want to live.
We create a home to live in, embedded within a community, which is in turn connected to the world at large.
Central to the Montessori method is the creation of meaningful activities and social roles within the context of a community.
This helps to ensure that residents are engaged in life, have a feeling of belonging, have a sense of purpose, have access to meaningful activities and can have a sense of control and independence.
Staff members are viewed as facilitators and have been trained to create resident-led groups to formulate life enrichment programs, such as a welcoming committee, visitor center, social action programs, social events and a governance council.
For example, resident groups will select group outing destinations and activities or invite entertainers, lecturers, and other professionals to give presentations or performances.
These facilitated programs are embedded in a daily routine to ensure a reassuring and structured environment.
The Montessori dementia approach adapted by Dr. Cameron Camp, enables a person with dementia to remain connected with life, to continue to contribute, and to live well with a chronic condition.
Each day is a precious gift and should never be wasted, no matter what our age, condition, or life circumstances.
“We are not helpless in the face of dementia. We can best care for ourselves and our loved ones with dementia by embracing the humanity that exists, and has always existed, within each other.”
–Cameron Camp, from the preface of “Hiding the Stranger in the Mirror”
The Montessori Method as a Vehicle for Change in Leadership and Personnel Management Strategies
Leaders in communities of care seek effective organizational approaches to learning, growth and development.
They believe that changes to traditional service and management practices are essential to remain competitive in an industry that rewards attraction and retention of staff.
The Montessori-based approach, introduced and developed by Dr. Cameron Camp, has demonstrated increased resident engagement, independence and quality of life.
In addition, this approach has attracted motivated, talented and dedicated staff at all levels.
At the heart of the Montessori-based approach are the values of respect, dignity and equality for all human beings.
When these values are integrated throughout an organization, it leads to a real culture change for residents, management and staff. In other words, simply focusing on person-centered resident care is not enough to produce culture change.
The implementation of this program has been shown to decrease staff turnover, the use of psychotropic drugs and other important outcomes for the long term success of the industry.
The approach offers proven strategies to increase communication and strengthen relations for those accompanying those diagnosed.
This program effectively creates a new architecture for the workplace culture, which allows employees to be the best versions of themselves as often as possible.
©2018 Cameron J. Camp III & Associates