Amazing Aging With Grace – Part 6: Montessori and Dementia

I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Montessori education.  It began in graduate school.  As I struggled to feel excitement over the fine points of articulation therapy, my roommates – who were both Montessori teachers – came home, exhausted for sure, but elated by their wonderful day at school. Something was wrong  with this  picture.

After observing this phenomenon for several months, I decided that a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology was definitely not for me, and a few months later I entered my first Montessori classroom as a Teacher’s Assistant.  This experience elevated my initial crush to a full-blown relationship:  I took the AMI Primary Teachers’ Training Course and spent the next 25+ years directing classes of my own. It was a decision I never regretted.  Now I got to come home exhausted but elated!

But being a practical person, I began looking ahead to that day when sitting on the floor might lose its appeal – or perhaps become an impossible endeavor!  Wanting to keep my connection with Montessori – we were like an old married couple by now – I became certified as a school consultant and, a few years later, as a life coach.  Equipped with these two skills sets, I traveled around the country visiting schools  to offer support and guidance for their Recognition process.  It was enjoyable working with adults.  And I got to sit in big chairs!

As I approached my 70’s,  life took some unexpected turns and it was once again time to reevaluate. I realized that traveling and report writing had lost their appeal and I decided that – sadly – it was time to step back altogether from my work in Montessori.  Well, that worked for awhile.  Then in steps Jennifer Brush and Brush Development Company.

I’m not sure exactly how I connected with Jennifer. It was during that time when I was shifting my coaching niche towards Aging Baby Boomers and doing lots of online research on aging.  And there it was : “Using the Montessori Approach for People With Dementia”.

My relationship with Montessori is most definitely lifelong…

Next time, read more about what I’ve learned so far about using the Montessori approach for people with dementia.

Until then, love


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