Montessori Education for Dementia: Bringing Joy and Purpose into Care

Learn more about St. Nicholas Montessori Dementia Programme at Career Path Expo.

Nestled in the beautiful seaside town of Dun Laoghaire is St Nicholas Montessori College, a teacher-training college specialised in Montessori methodology. For the past 50 years, St Nicholas Montessori Society has been training and equipping Montessori professionals in Ireland with the hopes of bringing professionalisation to the early years sector and transforming education in the Primary education sector and beyond. Now, SNMCI is expanding the scope of Montessori to encompass all ages, through the new groundbreaking Level 6 Special Purpose Award in Montessori Education for Dementia. In an in-depth interview with Montessori Education for Dementia Programme Director and Montessori Dementia expert, Jennifer Brush, we spoke at length to learn more about how St Nicholas Montessori College is transforming the lives of all ages.

Why Montessori?

Montessori is based on the principles of free choice and purposeful activity. In a Montessori community for elders, individuals with a wide range of abilities work both individually and collaboratively on an array of activities from which they are free to choose, explore, and discover
(Brush, Douglas, and Bourgeois). Elders have freedom to move within the community, and to engage in household roles and responsibilities, guided as needed by trained staff who have completed at least two days of education with an AMI trainer (AMI). The focus is on the well-being of the whole person, including physical, spiritual, social, mental, and emotional needs. Communities offer occasions for new learning, religious practices, meditation, art, music, exercise, and so forth. In addition, there are opportunities for interaction with children, friends, family, and groups outside of the care community.

Montessori for adults with Dementia, How?

Montessori methodology isn’t just for little ones. Although Dr. Montessori did not design environments for older adults, researchers, clinicians, and architects have contributed to a large body of evidence that has resulted in aging and dementia care guidelines. This new program combines Dr. Montessori’s philosophy of learning and living with person-centered aging and dementia care best practices.The Montessori Education for Dementia respects the older person and enables them to continue to make contributions to the community in whatever way possible, encourages caregivers to make observations in order to learn about the person, encourages independence in a specially prepared environment, provides meaningful engagement for older adults, and reminds us that learning and engagement can occur anywhere and at any age. This is a life changing approach to dementia care.

The Montessori philosophy encourages and incorporates the prepared environment, freedom of movement, hands-on activities, intrinsic motivation, concentration, independence, and mixed abilities. Most of us would hear Montessori and automatically picture children or early years settings, but read through those attributes again… This philosophy, at its core, allows for a sense of individuality and joy within the individual. Older adults and children alike can utilise these attributes and flourish in their lives. It is at this intersection that St Nicholas Montessori College is offering its unique expertise in the creation and delivery of one of the world’s only Montessori Education for Dementia programmes: Level 6 Special Purpose Award in Montessori Education for Dementia.

About the course and/or workshop

SNMCI is offering the standalone introductory workshop (ideal for groups of colleagues who seek insight into this field) and a 6 month ONLINE blended course (ideal for carers, activity professionals, social workers, nursing home directors, and leaders in the field of ageing and Montessori).

This course provides a powerful approach to dementia care that will change perspectives on ageing and dementia care. Students will learn how to create a dementia friendly physical and social environment that supports people with cognitive impairment to participate in meaningful activities that match their cognitive skills, interests and abilities. Students will also develop an understanding about memory loss, learning, and attention in order to best communicate with individuals living with dementia. The course will result in the tools care providers need to cope with the challenges of dementia care in order to create an environment where everyone wants to live and work.

For more information, please visit SNMCI’s website:

Furthermore, you can talk to their team on 10th and 11th March at Career Path Expo. You can register for FREE ADMISSION here.

Applications can be made before 1 March 2021 for the next intake on 15 April 2021:

Leave a comment