There's increasing interest and research happening related to using the Montessori method in long term care and to support people with dementia.
According to Dr. Paulette Hunter, assistant professor of psychology at St. Thomas More College, residents living in long-term care who do not have adequate access to personally meaningful activity experience a negative effect on their quality of life.
Psychology professor Paulette Hunter says techniques used in the Montessori teaching method appear to benefit dementia patients. (Rosalie Woloski/CBC News)
Paulette Hunter, a professor of psychology at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon is examining the effect the Montessori Method may have on people with dementia. According to Hunter, the method ensures that care is focused around the whole person, their lifetime need to engage in meaningful activities and to be stimulated at the cognitive level. Since a majority of long-term care homes concentrate on group activities so that all the residents can participate, Hunter wanted to look at individual activities and brought 18 volunteers to work with people with dementia for the study.
A Saskatoon professor says anecdotal results of using the Montessori teaching method have shown improvement in dementia patients, but she still needs to review the numbers.
The Inn on Westport marks 20 years in Sioux Falls this week with an event around its new Montessori approach to memory care.
The intriguing concept of applying Montessori teaching methods to adults with dementia may sound at first like one more way our culture tends to treat elders as if they were children.