Maria Montessori, an Italian educator, developed a system of teaching which adapts the learning process to students’ individual needs. Both activities and lessons are based on individuals. It takes into account all of their characteristics including aesthetic, cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual traits. By taking this approach, a person is challenged but not frustrated at the same time. An interesting fact is that this method can be used on patients that have Alzheimer’s. By using it, caregivers can improve the cognitive functions of their patients. Here’s how the Montessori method is used to treat Alzheimer’s.
How the Montessori Method is Used to Treat Alzheimer’s
Modifications for Seniors
While working with elderly that suffer from Alzheimer’s, health care professionals use a modified version of the Montessori method. They encourage older adults to participate in activities and mental exercises that go hand in hand with their abilities, memories, and skills. In order for these activities to have success, they are broken down into smaller steps. The goal is that through repetition, the elderly have all of their senses stimulated.
The caregiver is tasked with developing activities that correlate with a senior’s hobbies, interests, lifestyle, or former occupation. With each task, patients with Alzheimer’s should feel an improvement in their mental and cognitive function. These activities can be performed both in groups and individually. With the right amount of effort, the number of tasks created for elderly people with Alzheimer’s is infinite. The best examples of these activities include:
- caregiver and patient completing puzzles together
- working on identifying letter blocks
- reading books, newspapers, or even comics
- sewing cards
- matching together colors, images, and shapes
It is also beneficial to include exercises with a ball or another tossable object to improve upper body strength and movement. Group activities that provoke conversation are also highly recommended because they boost seniors’ social skills. All of these activities will help older adults to build up their confidence and self-esteem.
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