Innovative Montessori programming a highlight of resident activation
Homes seeing positive results when residents' strengths are harnessedSeptember 6, 2012
Montessori-based resident programming is showing positive results in OMNI Health Care homes and is an example of the innovation and ingenuity of caregivers found within the organization.
At the heart of Montessori programming for people living with cognitive impairment is the idea that when strengths, preferences and abilities are addressed in a meaningful way they will succeed in tasks, resulting in reduced agitation and enhanced life quality.
Through OMNI long-term care homes’ involvement with the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) project, a $40-million initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation, some homes are finding Montessori programming to be a crucial centrepiece to activation.
At Burnbrae Gardens, large-print books supplied for free through the home’s participation in BSO are getting residents reading aloud in the reading group.
Not only is this program engaging for residents, it’s also producing important, even surprising results.
“The Montessori reading group is a tremendous program — some of the residents who are lower functioning are showing they have the capability to read (even if) they don’t know how to converse,” says life enrichment aide Karen Lloyd.
“I just give them a book in large print with a nice little story, and it gives them a sense of (accomplishment). One lady said to me, ‘Thank you very much for showing me that I can live again.’ ”
Pleasant Meadow Manor is also discovering the benefits of Montessori programming for residents with cognitive impairment.
Like Burnbrae Gardens, Pleasant Meadow Manor is also finding reading programs to be beneficial to residents.
A recently-launched program saw residents engaged in books about fairs — something most residents have experienced.
As a result, people opened up and began talking, says life enrichment aide Tiffany Martell, who is trained in Montessori programming and created the reading activity.
“They all talked about the fairs that they had been to — they had been to fairs in Toronto and in Norwood when they were younger, and (the book) got them talking about that,” says Martell, adding she was surprised by the result.
“Some of (the residents) don’t talk. One lady read four pages for me then began talking about fairs.”
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