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Montessori and Dementia

Friday, January 25, 2013

Just following up on my "defending against dementia" blog -- so many of us here at SP seem to be dealing with this issue for elders . . . and this article in today's Globe and Mail sets out current research on applying the Montessori principles to keep people engaged in meaningful activity and slow the progress of dementia. A grandmother bakes cookies: a cardiologist reviews xrays. And both of them recover what's familiar and what brought their lives dignity and meaning.

So interesting. Plato said justice is asking people to do what they do best: and here's another application really of the same principle!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    That's a great article. After my Dad's death in 1997, my mom lived with us until her death in 2011 at age 88. I used to have her fold the laundry to give her something to do. I would also play cards and scrabble with her. Her mind slowed down some at the end, but not to the extent of dementia. I thought I was combating depression, but maybe it had an additional benefit.
    1914 days ago
    Thanks Ellen for sharing this link. It seems as long as we feel useful and use the skills we have we continue to function well. My husband and I were lucky that our parents remained alert and high functioning up to the end. Ken's Mum was 95his Dad 78 when they died but my Mum and Dad were both quite young at 58 and 69.
    1914 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Wow! Fantast article!! I hope this method catches on in homes every where. it makes so much sense, giving them back something they are familiar with!!
    Thanks for sharing this!
    1914 days ago
    An argument against early retirement? A "rationale" for why women live longer (we keep doing chores around the house?) Interesting findings!
    1914 days ago
    Very interesting - thank you for sharing!
    1915 days ago
    Thanks. Good article.
    1915 days ago
  • SWAZY33
    Interesting stuff...
    1915 days ago
  • SAMZA83
    This is a very facinating link. As a teacher I am not entirely 100% supportive of the Montessori method because I see the method as somewhat devoid of creativity and overly structured at points -but- for those dealing with memory loss (my maternal Grandmother had dementia) the labeling, the 'materials' (what the props are called in Montessori) provide a sense of structure and familiarity---and independence that clients need. Facinating study.
    1915 days ago
    Here's to doing what we do best!
    1915 days ago
    This is so wonderful. My husband's mother is in the early stages of dementia but her domineering (and very ill) husband won't consider going to an assisted-living center. Instead, they live in their home, refuse help from anyone but their exhausted daughter, subsist on junk food while Dad sleeps most of the day and Mom sits, lonely and alone, watching TV. It's heartbreaking.

    One of these centers is exactly what she needs to stave off the disease and restore her sense of purpose.

    We must do better for our elderly -- after all, we're not far off from it ourselves!
    1915 days ago
    Makes LOTS of sense to me. But then it can be so easy for us to get knocked off course from the sensible, logical path...!

    1915 days ago
  • NANCY-
    That link sparked my interest yesterday... and it got me thinking.

    All my boys went to a Montessori preschool. I loved the supportive environment it provided. My failing is that I was inept at applying it to my home.
    What is good for the little ones is good for all.
    Hmm.. is this my 2013 challenge?... providing a supportive environment is so important for a healthy lifestyle too.

    1915 days ago
  • M77355
    Thank you for another great blog ... I've already forwarded this to friend!
    1915 days ago
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