Having a loved one diagnosed with dementia can be a challenging and isolating experience.
Finding activities that engage them and bring them joy can be difficult.
However, one effective way to help a parent with dementia is by incorporating Montessori activities. Developed in 1897 for children with special needs, this teaching process has proven to be beneficial for dementia patients as well.
The Montessori approach focuses on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a person's natural development. By implementing Montessori activities, caregivers can provide simple, practical tasks that allow individuals with dementia to feel a sense of accomplishment and reconnect with their personal history.
Here are seven simple ways to integrate Montessori based activities for dementia.
1. Cognitive Skills
Incorporate activities like trivia or discussions about current events to engage loved ones with higher cognitive abilities. For those with more severe dementia, simple puzzles or tasks that stimulate the mind are ideal.
2. Life Skills
Use your loved one's skills, history, and background to plan activities. For example, if they had experience working on a farm or in a garden, sorting or planting seeds can bring back fond memories.
Encourage purposeful movements through activities that involve a full range of motion. Incorporate slow, deep breaths and have your loved one engage in motions like picking apples or flowers or placing flowers in a vase.
Engage the senses through activities that involve smell, taste, and touch. Use scented candles, have your loved one identify different fruits by taste or texture, and encourage them to identify objects by touch.
Utilize the power of music to engage those with dementia. Listening to music, identifying songs, and participating in group activities like singing or dancing can be incredibly rewarding and provide a sense of connection.
Tap into your loved one's creativity by encouraging them to engage in art activities. Painting or drawing in a simplified setting or working on a group project can allow them to express themselves and enjoy the process.
Dining can be a wonderful opportunity for social interaction. Encourage your loved one to participate in activities like setting the table or helping prepare a favorite dish. Engaging in conversation during meals can foster a sense of belonging and encourage interaction with others.
At The Birches, we prioritize meaningful connections with our residents and their families. Our focus is on creating a stimulating environment that promotes our residents' physical and emotional well-being, allowing them to thrive in mind, body, and spirit.
The Montessori Method offers tremendous benefits for people with dementia and their loved ones.
The activities are easy to set up, can be tailored to individual skill sets, and can be customized based on a person's background and hobbies. Learn more about Memory Care and the Montessori Method.
Discover if our communities is the right fit for you or your loved one. To learn more about Memory Care, visit here.