The American expert Montessori, Dr. Cameron Camp, director of research and development at the Center for Applied Dementia Research, will be in Australia this week for a series of comprehensive master classes on the holistic commitment of people living with dementia.
Internationally renowned researcher in the field of aging, Dr Camp stated that we consider dementia as a form of disability rather than a disease.
"When you focus on dementia as a disease, then you are focusing on deficits. Our approach is – what can we do to help people living with dementia?"
The Montessori technique is widely recognized as an excellent non-pharmacological intervention and an effective means to better involve people living with dementia.
In a 2016 study published in Advances in Aging Research Journal, dr. Camp found that participants in a Montessori program showed improvements in some activities, such as being able to feed themselves. They have also decreased their use of antipsychotics, antidepressants and sleeping pills.
Dr. David Sykes, director of the Center for dementia in dementia in Australia, was thrilled that the workshops were so popular.
"The philosophy of Maria Montessori was that every human being has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, to have a significant role in a community and to contribute to the best of their abilities", said Dr. Sykes.
The Montessori approach is used to maximize the person's capacity by evaluating and incorporating each person's stage of development through the creation of cognitive ramps to welcome and involve the person living with dementia.
By creating opportunities for people with dementia to engage in meaningful activities, combining them with their abilities, they are able to maintain a level of autonomy and dignity in continuing to make a valuable contribution to the community.
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By focusing on the remaining strengths and abilities of people living with dementia, and combining them with their interest in specific activities, they are able to continue to lead meaningful and rewarding lives.
"We are excited to host Dr Camp for these workshops – they present a unique and valuable opportunity for those working in the elderly care sector to increase their knowledge and skills in providing support for people with dementia" said Sykes.
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