Montessori Ageing Support Services is the National peak body for supporting quality of life for older Australians including those living with dementia through the Montessori approach. The creation of Montessori Environments is an innovative approach not only to dementia care, but to all aspects of aged care, that can be adopted for individuals, for groups, and as a philosophy of care. Since programming is created based on individual needs, strengths, interests and abilities, the activities are meaningful to the individual, affording them the opportunity to enjoy an enriched quality of life by remaining purposefully and meaningfully engaged in the roles, routines and activities of daily living. This work amounts to a paradigm shift in the philosophy of Aged Care.
The creation of Montessori Environments for older people living with dementia has been demonstrated to increase safety, reduce agitation and wandering, and promote improved quality of life, self-esteem and independence. Activities, roles and routines are created and presented based on of individual needs, strengths, skills, abilities and interests. This is achieved by providing an environment that makes it possible for each person to find information, meaning and purpose in their day, whilst supporting losses and circumventing deficits. The approach is flexible, innovative and grounded in research.
A Montessori environment have been shown to result in: - Reduction in use of psychotropic medications - Reduction in incident reports - Increased staff satisfaction - Increased family satisfaction - Decreased workers compensation claims - Decreased staff sick leave - Decrease resident agitation - Decrease in falls - Increased independence - Longer community living – and Decreased complaints.
The creation of Montessori Environments realises the vision of independence, high self-esteem and a promising future for older people, particularly those living with dementia. This evidence-based approach to aged care is enabling people to end this last chapter of their life with meaning, dignity and respect whilst being supported to be as independent as possible.
Montessori Ageing Support Services has been working with many organisations who have been committed to changing the face of aged care one step at a time. The positive outcomes for many residents have been both heart-warming and indicative that many care practices need to change if we are to provide better practice contemporary care for older people.