Dementia and Supported Living the Montessori Way

Dementia the Montessori Way is an ethos of care based on a set of principles, from the work of Dr Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori demonstrated by creating a structured, supportive environment, provide sensory and motor training, and teach children fundamental life skills using instructional materials that are familiar to them, she could educate children with significant educational difficulties.

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Dr Montessori’s philosophy and mission

  • To enable individuals to be as independent as possible
  • To have a meaningful place in their community
  • To possess high self-esteem
  • To have the chance to make meaningful contributions to their community

Gail Elliot, a Canadian Gerontologist & Dementia Specialist studied the work of Cameron Camp, who first linked the values of the Montessori principles and dementia. She also researched multidisciplinary, evidence-based practices from around the world. She examined the evidence in respect of the link between brain and behaviour and the need to understand the connection and modify the environment in a way that supports the person living with dementia.

Michelle Bourgeois a Professor in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida. Michelle, and is a Speech-Language pathologist. Michelle studied the use of visual cueing strategies, spaced retrieval and other memory support approaches to support people with dementia.

Lynne Phair and Sally Dando studied the work of Maria Montessori, Gail Elliot and Michelle Bourgeois set against the existing evidence-based practice of bio medical approaches, the seminal work of Tom Kitwood, Professor Dawn Brooker’s VIPS framework, the legal framework, and the voice of a person living with dementia. They concluded that the Montessori principles and philosophy are golden threads that run through the evidence base practice that already exists and can be used in hospitals, care homes day care and in a person’s own home.

Using this knowledge, a multi-disciplinary training programme has been developed for health & social care professionals and family members. The programme supports culture change, supports staff from every department to feel valued and part of the team. The programme ensures people living with dementia, wherever they are on their journey, are able to be as independent as possible, have a meaningful place in their community, possess high self esteem and have purpose in their life.

Video by Sue Harbottle-Sear of Konzepts
Dementia the Montessori Way

Book Club and Book Shop

Colouring Books for people living with dementia

Have you ever wondered why some people with dementia are not interested in colouring? When the pages connect to the interests and abilities of the individual, the outcomes are often surprising and rewarding.

Created by Gail Elliot, DementiAbility Canada, these books have been produced using high quality paper to enhance the tactile experience and to ensure the finished picture brings joy and a sense of pride and success for people at all stages of dementia.

Dementia the Montessori Way