The Perfect Partnership

Montessori, changing the lives of people living with dementia


Many of us are familiar with the term Montessori as it applies to education but only a few of us in Australia are familiar with the application of Montessori methods for  Dementia and Ageing.

As an innovative method of working with older adults living with cognitive and/or physical impairments, Montessori has the potential to change the lives of people in care communities and enhance the lives of people in their own homes. Montessori for Dementia and Ageing is based on the educational philosophies of famed childhood educator Dr. Maria Montessori. Her philosophy and principles were discovered to be effectively for all people at all ages.  Every person needs to feel valued and have a reason to get out of bed every day.

Research has provided clear evidence of decreases in responsive behaviours and increased levels of engagement and participation in activities when Montessori approaches are implemented.

Montessori for Dementia and Ageing provides the framework for realising the vision of independence, high self-esteem and a promising future for people living with dementia.

Montessori for Dementia and Ageing is a model of care based on best aged and dementia care practices and the development of an expertly prepared environment.  Implementing a Montessori model is a paradigm shift and  requires us to change all we thought we knew about dementia and provision of support services. Montessori for dementia and ageing  focus’s on supporting both the person and the environment which is adapted to support memory loss and independence.   The result is that people living with dementia are able to make meaningful contributions to their community, engage in meaningful activities in addition to having the opportunity to maintain, and even restore function. The approach is flexible, innovative and grounded in research.

A past student’s comments … “Just a little feedback to some changes we have made immediately. Signs on the walls have already been put up, within 5 minutes residents were sitting reading the magazines and books, it’s truly amazing!!

One of our residents has been helping with some chores today, I have taken photos of her beaming smile. Every time I see her she comments – don’t forget dear anytime you need help just ask, I love helping. These few change has already made a difference. Thank you so much for your inspiration”.

Thelma’s Story

After completing the two day Montessori for Dementia workshop Pamela Aldridge  was able to apply the Montessori principles and change the life of Thelma, a lady with dementia living with her daughter.  In this short clip, Pamela and Cheryl , Thelma’s daughter talk about their Montessori journey.

Katie’s Story

Katie is a nurse. She reluctantly went to Montessori training but soon realized that her ‘nursing’ life was about to change for ever. Everything she had ever known about caring for people living with dementia was about to be challenged. This is her story.

The links below take you to two Montessori videos that show how changing the face of aged care is possible, one step at a time.

Short Version – approx. 8 minutes

Long Version – approx. 21 minutes