If you’re already familiar with the Montessori method, you may be wondering what it has to do with senior care. After all, it is a philosophy of childhood education. But in recent years, the Montessori method has proven itself a valuable resource in the realm of elder care, especially when it comes to assisted living.
As a senior living community providing assisted living services, Garden of Palms stays up to date with the latest research and trends in senior care. As part of our mission to offer high quality care in a supportive and engaging environment, we’re using the core tenets of the Montessori method to best support the needs of our assisted living residents.
What is the Montessori method?
The Montessori method was developed in the early 20th century by Dr. Maria Montessori, a physician and educator. Based on scientific observations of childhood development, it centers the needs of students to provide a holistic education; one that nurtures the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of children in a carefully designed environment.
Montessori classrooms mix students of different ages so they can learn from one another. Teaching is flexible and provides different options that are designed around the development of the child to best utilize their natural abilities to learn. The hands-on Montessori approach empowers children with a sense of purpose, while also preparing them for the realities of adolescence and adulthood.
How is the Montessori method used in assisted living?
With its emphasis on choice and supporting the “whole person,” it’s easy to imagine how the foundations of the Montessori method can strengthen an assisted living environment. A loss of freedom is one of the biggest fears many seniors have about moving into assisted living, and the Montessori philosophy of care can help smooth this transition by providing a sense of purpose and independence.
In a Montessori classroom, students take on different roles and participate in taking care of the space through activities like feeding pets, cleaning, and helping other classmates. For seniors in an assisted living environment, this can translate to similar duties like clearing tables and caring for plants. Seniors can also be empowered by being allowed to do things for themselves as long as they are able.
But Montessori isn’t just about cleaning and self-care tasks. Choice is an important aspect of this philosophy, and it applies to fun activities just as much as chores. By allowing residents to choose from a wide variety of meaningful and structured activities, they stay engaged and active for longer, and spend more time doing the things they enjoy. Additionally, the Montessori method emphasizes the importance of socializing and teamwork. In an assisted living setting, group activities are an excellent way to foster engagement along with a sense of belonging.
The Montessori method’s person-centered philosophy results in individualized senior care programs that are tailored to each resident’s strengths, needs, and interests. Through this approach, assisted living residents have a stronger sense of self-worth, more dignity and freedom, and a higher quality of life. For staff and caregivers, the Montessori method can also enhance efficiency and job satisfaction, while increasing empathy and communication with residents.
At Garden of Palms, we provide the highest quality of care in a warm and inviting setting. Our kosher assisted living community takes a holistic approach to senior care, with programs designed to nurture the mind, body, and spirit of our residents. To learn more about our senior living community or to schedule a tour of our beautiful Los Angeles campus, click here to contact us.