Montessori and quality of life for our residents living with dementia

Southern Cross Care Tasmania is the first aged care provider in Tasmania to introduce Montessori method of care to residents.

Montessori for dementia and cognitive impairment, focuses on supporting both the person and the environment, which is adapted to support memory loss and independence.

Montessori environments help people re-learn skills associated with daily activities such as gardening, getting ready to go out and setting a table for dinner. Staff trained in Montessori methods breakdown the tasks and together with memory cues and repetition, people are enabled to function at their highest level.

We understand we cannot change the often-devastating effects of memory loss, but by embracing Montessori principals we can make a positive change for our residents living with dementia.

Southern Cross Care Tasmania is working closely with Anne Kelly, Director of Montessori Consulting in Australia. 

Through the Montessori method, people living with dementia can make meaningful contributions to their community and engage in meaningful activities. It has been a privilege to work with the team at Southern Cross Care who have really embraced this program to the benefit of those who need this help the most.

Recently Southern Cross Care has successfully implemented the renowned Montessori method of care to its Rivulet and Fairway Rise aged care facilities in Southern Tasmania and Glenara Lakes in Northern Tasmania. 

Quotes from care staff at Fairway Rise speak volumes of the success of this wonderful and supportive environment.

“The changes in their (residents living with dementia) behaviours are positive and beautiful to observe.”

“It is heart-warming to see residents receiving the Montessori model of care with so much happiness and satisfaction on their faces.”

Yaraandoo in the state’s Northwest is currently undergoing training and will be the third Southern Cross Care facility to embrace the Montessori care principle.

Montessori Magic is changing lives at Glenara Lakes Residential Care Facility

May 2022 saw the launch of the Montessori project within the Memory support Unit at Glenara Lakes.

Several staff attended the P3 Foundation training with Anne Kelly –a leader in this field for 35 years. The Foundations training was then supported by Helen Haines who is the Montessori Consultant.

Helen spent two days educating and challenging traditional thought processes on how to set up the ideal Montessori environment. Kae Cunningham was appointed the Montessori Lead, who will carry the baton after Helen leaves. Through Montessori we are changing the way our staff care for our residents by breaking away from traditional models of care to a model that nourishes and supports the resident’s independence.

Our residents who are living with dementia are now assisted to choose their meals, no more plastic or bibs – tables are set with beautiful place settings real crookery and cutlery. There is signage around the Unit inviting residents to do activities. Residents are often seen accompanying staff outside of the unit carrying out various activities.

The residents are “coming alive”

Quote from the wife of a resident in our Memory Support Unit at Glenara Lakes

   “To see the welcome changes to the Peter Comas memory support Wing in such a short time, to watch the excitement generated by the engaged staff led by Kae is a joy to behold not to mention the resident’s demeanour change, busy on little projects and see their independence stimulated brings smiles all-round. I am enjoying visiting my husband John again, seeing him look happier and more contented”

Wendy Schoenmaker

Download our Montessori handbook