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HORIZON BLOG

Home health aides complete new Montessori dementia certifications

Horizon’s recent third ceremony honoring Home Health Aides was in recognition of those who are now certified in Montessori application.

The aides completed a six-hour online course available through the International Council for Certified Dementia Practitioners (ICCDP). On completion of the course, they earned the credential of Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional (CMDCP).

The Montessori application is a new approach, presented by Dr. Cameron Camp, to the old initiative of having all nursing aides certified in the care of dementia patients.

Caring for a dementia patient is complicated. Caregivers often develop a deep-seated inclination to perform cares in entirety without encouraging the patient to participate. Maria Montessori (19th century Italian physician) recognized that troublesome behaviors manifest from ineffective environments in which the patient cannot find fulfilling tasks. Montessori’s powerful statement, “What you do for me, you take away from me” underpins this education module. Horizon aides testify that applying Montessori principles has revealed that dementia patients CAN learn, CAN perform simple tasks, CAN achieve varying scales of independence, and CAN achieve higher quality of life. CMDCP aides understand that dementia patients lose cognitive keenness, but uphold emotional skills that beckon some level of functionality synonymous to feeling ‘alive’.

“Maria Montessori’s quote had the most impact on me—it made me realize that I need to step back so as not to deter the patient,” says Horizon aide Kelly.

“This course showed me how patients with dementia are still able to learn and do different things,” says Sherry, an aide in hospice.

Lora Robinson says, “I use the skills I learned in this dementia course every day. The education marks us as professionals.”

And hospice aide Debra adds, “I think it should be taught to everyone.”

See all the photos from the third ceremony here.

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