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Using the Montessori Method to Treat Alzheimer’s

By Manpreet Dhalla, 9:00 am on

Commonly used by teachers, the Montessori method requires practitioners to consider the needs and capabilities of students when designing lessons in order to provide a challenge without causing frustration. Gerontological psychologist Dr. Cameron Camp believes that this technique can easily be modified to stimulate the senses of Alzheimer’s patients and help Alzheimer’s caregivers in Ft. Lauderdale interact with their loved ones.

Trapped Positive Memories

Dementia patients often exhibit paranoia, suspicion and other negative side effects that cause them to withdraw from others. While mental ability noticeably declines, researchers know that affected seniors harbor memories from the past. Ft. Lauderdale dementia caregivers can use the Montessori method to bring these pleasant moments to the surface, which then encourages positive emotions and thoughts. For example, giving someone with Alzheimer’s a bouquet of freshly cut flowers and an empty vase might trigger memories of spring days when he or she enjoyed working in a flower garden. 

Stimulates Muscle Memory

As dementia progresses, some seniors forget basic activities including dressing, bathing, and eating. Participating in certain activities awakens the brain to remember how to perform a variety of tasks. For some, a small pile of clean towels often prompts a senior to fold the items while others enjoy matching a pile of mismatched socks. Presenting a senior with baking ingredients in kitchen might stimulate them to create special treats that they commonly made for their family. Additional engaging tasks may include: 

  • Various puzzles based on degrees of cognitive ability
  • A tub filled with PVC tubes and connectors
  • Dolls, clothes and infant care items
  • Modified group games once enjoyed by seniors
  • A selection of children’s musical instruments
  • Crayons or water-based paints and age-appropriate coloring images or blank paper

By encouraging Alzheimer’s patients to engage in these activities, they not only enjoy the task but also come away with a sense of accomplishment. When memories are stimulated, seniors can share their stories with others and foster a healthy social life with friends and family.

In addition to the Montessori method, seniors with cognitive diseases benefit from comprehensive in-home care in Ft. Lauderdale. Home Care Assistance is the leading provider of both dementia and Alzheimer’s home care because our highly trained and compassionate caregivers work one-on-one with our clients to boost cognitive stimulation, delay the onset of dementia, encourage social skills, and promote overall wellbeing. Learn more about our memory care by calling (954) 909-0370 today to meet with a trusted Care Manager.

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