Regular readers of my blog know that both my father and grandmother had this terrible disease when they passed away. There are wonderful people at our local chapter of Alzheimer’s Association in Ryan’s Ranch. It is always a struggle figuring out how to deal with a loved one, as the symptoms can seem to change from day to day. And unlike most other chronic diseases, there is little that can be done in the way of treatment. One relatively new method has been used for more than a century on special needs children and is being tried out on those with dementia. It’s called the Montessori method for memory care, and it involves teaching a “new” skillset to someone. Just as children need to know how to dress themselves, go to the bathroom, and communicate their needs, so do those with dementia who eventually may completely forget these skills which you and I take for granted. Using the Montessori Method you will find that it:
- Respects a person’s dignity, personhood and lived experience;
- Allows freedom within your provided structure (essentially allowing a senior to be an improvisational artists of sorts);
- Changes the environment to suit the individual and not the other way around; and
- Takes into account that an individual benefits by serving their community.
Source: HomeCare Magazine, 03/21 P.40
And when all else fails, don’t forget that the Alzheimer’s Association has a 24-hour hotline. If you need some additional support you can reach them at 800-272-3900.