Montessori approach to Dementia in age care

The Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) – Hyderabad
Deccan and The Montessori Training and Research Trust (MTRT) has organized a One –day work-shop on “Montessori approach to Dementia in age care” by Ms Maxine Swenson, an AMI Primary trained directress on Saturday, the 13th November, 2010 from 9 am to 4.30 pm at the Montessori Training and Research Centre.

The Treasurer of  MTRT welcomed the guest of  honour, Ms. Bilqis Latif, and  introduced the workshop aim. Ms. Rukhsana Ansari General Secretary of Ardsi Hyd Deccan gave the introduction of the speakers.

Dr Suvarna Alladi, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Nims Hospital, President, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan, gave a power point presentation on Memory in Healthy Aging and Disease. She gave examples of Healthy memory and failing memory. She spoke about Dementia, symptoms, subtypes of Dementia and prevalence of Dementia.  Differences between normal forgetfulness and dementia were also spoken about.

Dr Chandrasekhar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Asha hospitals, Vice-President, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan spoke about the main behavioral problems of Dementia patients. Common problems brought out by the caregivers included restlessness, stress, frustration, refusal to take medicines, impaired ability to handle money and impairment in reading.Dr. Chandrasekhar gave practical suggestions to handle these problems. He concluded by saying that dementia results in only cognitive decline but not emotional decline.  A person's emotions aren't blunted, but they may have apathy.

Ms Rukhsana Ansari, Secretary ARDSI Hyderabad, gave a powerpoint presentation, introducing ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan and services offered. Some of the services offered by the local chapter include awareness sessions, day care centre, educative and caregivers literature in English and Telugu, counselling, home visits, monthly caregiver meetings, training for caregivers and volunteers.

Ms Maxine started with an introduction to Montessori approach to Dementia in Aged care. She has given a power point presentation explaining about the Alzheimer’s disease, Brain and parts, Dementia – facts and figures and the Montessori method in re-building human tendencies and house-hold skills and the concept of “The hands feed the mind”. She explained about the Montessori activities and the way they are related to sensory experience. Breaking down a task and the positive consequences of keeping the individual independent, ways of communicating, ten absolutes of Dementia care-giving and seven steps to staving off Alzheimer’s were highlighted.

An explanation of the Memory Boxes was given practically where different types of boxes were shown.

A DVD was played explaining about the Dementia person’s feelings and their emotional reaction to their surrounding environment which was heart-touching.

Later Ms Maxine with the help of two volunteers enacted a role-play showing how to behave with the Dementia persons and it was quite informative.

The work-shop concluded with Ms Rukhsana and Ms Helen thanking Ms Maxine for the useful and valuable information.