Selecting the right memory care facility can significantly impact a senior's happiness and quality of life.
Long used in early childhood education, the Montessori Method has become a favored technique in memory care over the last decade because of its results. This individualized, multisensory approach to engagement has shown significant improvement in recollection, retention, and personal sense of accomplishment — for individuals of various levels of dementia or memory loss.
Here's what you need to know selecting a memory care facility and considering Montessori.
What's Important in Choosing a Memory Care Community?
Individuals with memory issues often need more help than a senior in assisted living. Staffing levels are critical. At The Birches, we maintain a staff-to-resident ratio of 1-to-8. This ensures seniors have assistance around the clock.
Additionally, The Birches facilities staff a licensed nurse seven days a week to assist with medications.
Activities and nutrition are also essential to ensure residents' optimum health. The Birches offers residents activities 12 hours daily, unlike the typical 8. We also provide personalized wellness plans and menus to meet nutritional/dietary needs.
We have high resident retention (95%) and staff retention (85%) rates, a testament to our approach to service and satisfaction.
What Is Montessori in Memory Care?
Montessori is an internationally renowned methodology that integrates individuals' interests, long-term memories, and skills to develop a program and environment where they can feel at home and thrive.
It integrates considerations in physical surroundings, individual housing/apartment design, and activities to improve livelihood and opportunities. Top providers in memory care — like The Birches — are mobilizing this approach to better support residents.
What Kinds of Surroundings Are Important?
Large facilities tend to be confusing for those who have dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Seek a complex where daily living, dining, and activities can be easily found, and the facility is designed for easy navigation. Consider signage (and frequency), lighting, ease of access through hallways, and the apartment's setup. Simple colors and patterns are easier on straining eyes. Select a facility where you or your loved one feel calm and comfortable.
Which Activities Are Provided in Montessori Memory Care Homes?
Montessori-inspired activities include playing matching games, card games, working with familiar tools, doing arts and crafts, and more. Other Montessori activities include therapeutic stimulation, such as movies, movement, and music.
At The Birches, we use all these techniques and also engage residents by having them help with meal preparation, housekeeping, gardening, and other light tasks to help them feel fulfilled and valuable.
How Effective is Montessori in Senior Memory Care?
Staff in Montessori-certified facilities like The Birches get to know their residents better, and families are more satisfied with how their loved ones are cared for.
Clinical studies have found that memory care residents in Montessori facilities showed notable behavior improvements and required less sedation.
They have also shown that seniors participating in Montessori-based activities were more engaged and better equipped to handle routine tasks.
Other benefits of Montessori span slower memory decline and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Montessori residents also tend to have better nutrition and social opportunities.
How Do I Find a Montessori-Certified Memory Care Facility?
Search for entities holding the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) certification.
As the only Montessori-certified memory care facility in Illinois, The Birches has a great deal to offer residents. Contact us today to learn more, schedule a private tour, and see how Montessori in memory care can make a difference.