Chances are, we are all familiar with the Montessori approach to learning as it applies to children. However, did you know that it also applies to seniors with memory-related conditions? Making the most of their remaining abilities to encourage learning through positive reinforcement, seniors can benefit from this approach to learning. In this article, we share with you some Montessori activities for seniors.
Understanding the Montessori Approach
The Montessori approach to learning was developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian woman. It places great emphasis on customizing the learning experience towards the abilities of the individual, and for seeing the individual as a whole in all aspects including physical, social, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and aesthetic. It also focuses on a collaborative learning environment, peer teaching, and interactions with other people. Activities are failure-free and designed based on the individual’s unique needs and abilities.
How the Elderly Can Benefit from the Montessori Approach
The elderly with physical or mental disabilities and/or conditions including dementia can benefit from the Montessori approach. The purpose is to give them a sense of accomplishment, particularly those who are afflicted by progressive conditions that gradually affect their ability to be independent. Tasks are broken down into smaller steps to ensure success, and as many of the five senses are incorporated into the activity as possible. It is important to provide positive reinforcement throughout the process.
Recommended Montessori Activities for the Elderly
With a whole range of Montessori activities out there, you can find exactly what is needed to suit each individual’s abilities. Activities can also be customized towards the interests of the person. Below are some recommended Montessori activities for the elderly:
- Placing colored balls into matching cups: This works best with three different balls and cups, but can be adapted to include just two if necessary. The elderly can also practice with one first to understand what the activity is about.
- Reading books in large fonts that have been adapted to the needs and interests of each individual.
- Playing with letter recognition blocks or matching pieces to a chart, such as plastic fruit pieces to a mat with different fruits printed on it.
- Opening a lock attached to a wooden box.
Consider Long-Term Care Options for Yourself or Your Loved One
If you have a loved one who would benefit from failure-free Montessori activities that leverage on their existing abilities, you may be looking to make long-term care arrangements for them. Or you may simply be socially isolated from aging in place and looking to make the move to a senior living community. Our independent living community at TerraBella Windsor Lake is a great choice for older adults who would like to live in a safe and welcoming environment, with the amenities you need right on your doorstep. This includes a senior-equipped wellness center, lush outdoor spaces, and a heated swimming pool. To schedule a tour of our stylish campus, please feel free to get in touch with us today.