The Montessori and dementia education and development programme
The Montessori and dementia education and development programme is designed for the whole team who work in a care setting, regardless of their role.
Our Montessori and dementia education programme promotes a team culture where everyone is of equal importance and everyone has a part to play in supporting the resident, whatever their job.
The education programme is set with the context of understanding the impact of dementia on the brain and how this affects people differently. The course also sets out normal ageing and Staff learn the language of invitation, courtesy and grace. They will ask residents to help and find out if they have enjoyed the activity and thank them for participating and they will ask the resident to help them, if the person is able. This is to help the resident /patient feel part of the community.
Our education programme supports the team to understand that the care community is the resident’s home and the atmosphere should be joyful, calm and homely
The programme promotes a Caring community focusing on a person’s
- Abilities and skills
- Needs and interests
Everyone needs to have a purpose, feel valued and have a reason to “get up in the morning”. This does not change when a person is living with dementia and our care communities understand this. When a person living with dementia is unsettled, bored or does not feel safe they can respond and communicate their distress through the way they act or express themselves.
Evidence has shown that if a person feels helpful, has meaningful occupation and fulfilled, they are happier in themselves and more content. This leads to less distress, anxiety and depression, improved physical health and cognitive stimulation. The impact of our approach benefits their appetite, sleep, pain management, continence and acceptance of personal care.
The courses supports the team to understand how the environment is carefully prepared to enable and promote as much independence as possible. This includes:
- Wayfinding signs and signs to help people use facilities independently
- Interactive and conversational activities on the walls in the corridors
- Activity areas with signs inviting people to participate
- Areas of the home that enable residents to simply enjoy the small pleasures of life
- Carefully chosen colour schemes and ordered interior furnishings
- Activities suitable for people of all abilities, which are “failure free”
- Name badges are clear and easy to read
- The home is uncluttered but homely
Knowing the resident
The course helps the team to learn the importance of very detailed information about their past work, specific music they enjoy or for small but very important information about how they liked to live their life. Staff can then use this information to ensure they can invite the person to enjoy meaningful occupation, activities or pleasures of life as well as understand their daily routine and what is important to them.
Most people get pleasure from being able to help someone else and feel they have a purpose. The course helps staff learn how to actively engage the person with dementia to ensure all residents feel valued and this may involve asking them to assist in the community and have a role or help with some household chores such as sweeping, laying tables, helping in the garden or chopping vegetables.
Sometimes the role, may not be needed at that time (or is not a real role) but the person enjoys helping and they are happy to carry out a task which distracts them from being anxious or wanting to do something that is unsafe. All roles are carefully linked to the person’s strengths and abilities and risk assessed using a Rights Based Risk Assessment approach.
The measure of success will primarily be the level of enjoyment, and satisfaction a person gets from helping the community. All other benefits will be a bonus!
The course helps the team think about how to invite people to participate and help themselves with activities. Evidence has shown that a person with dementia may not remember that they are permitted to touch some thing or use something and are too polite to do so. The invitation signs are there to give permission and overcome any anxiety.
The teams learns how to think about activities designed specifically for them to help certain people re learn another skill. For example, doing an activity, regularly in order to retrain the person’s arm muscles in order to hold a spoon to be able to eat independently. Other activities may be designed to help a person to remember family members, such as a matching game.
Residents will also be invited to join in activities throughout the day, in groups or individually that are for fun or pleasure, sensory stimulation or comfort, cognitive stimulation, physical activity or perhaps to try something they have never experienced before.