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HORIZON BLOG

Montessori dementia training continues for Horizon Home Health Aides

Horizon is pleased to announce that 15 additional nursing assistants and home health aides have completed a dementia course tailored to addressing the patient-specific needs of this population. The accomplishment designates the aides as Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professionals (CMDCPs). Horizon now employs a total of 76 aides who specialize in the care of patients with dementia. 

Montessori principles are an aide's foundation for enabling a dementia patient’s enduring capabilities. The approach encourages engagement in purposeful and meaningful activities to boost self-esteem and recover quality of life. The concept discourages comprehensive dependent care by inversely emboldening people with dementia to perform skills to their level of aptitude. By doing so, the patient simultaneously regains social aspects of living.

Memory loss associated with dementia often concerns names, locations, and current events (who, what, where, when, and why). Montessori principles focus on procedural memory, also known as motor memory--“how” to perform tasks. Routine chores performed by dementia patients reduce their feelings of isolation and monotony. World-weariness is subdued when the patient participates in activities of daily living including reading, hobbies, dressing, folding laundry, or eating independently.

Marie Montessori said, “What you do for me, you take away from me.” This seemingly simple statement is profound in dementia care. The dim prospect of being a burden to others often fuels challenging behaviors demonstrated by dementia patients. These adults have a need to feel useful and exhibit a strong desire to "add to the log-pile of life." Good-willed caregivers often unintentionally rob opportunities for the dementia patient to achieve worthwhileness. 

It is never too late to apply Montessori principles, even during advanced stages of dementia.  Montessori practice has proven that dementia patients can re-learn tasks when given the opportunity. Horizon’s CMDCP aides are equipped with the skills to assist dementia patients to LIVE until they die.

by Cynthia McKenna, Clinical Educator

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Dana Ehrmann

Social Media Coordinator

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