Home / Dementia Care
L'chaim Retirement Home is a leader in Dementia Care. We understand that round the clock individual care is must. At L'chaim, our goal is to address each area of our resident's life. Together, our medical team, programming team and therapeutic specialists unite to create an individual plan for each resident according to their needs to ensure the best quality of life possible.
In line with our holistic approach, the L'chaim team are trained in various approaches of care. Our favorite approach and one we are most passionate about is the Montessori Approach for the Elderly. The philosophy of the Montessori approach is to foster independence for as long as possible, offers choices, and treats people with respect and dignity.
The Montessori method was developed by Maria Montessori, MD., PhD, over one hundred years ago, as a tool to teach children deemed "unreachable". Dr. Cameron Camp is responsible for the research that connected Dr. Montessori's principals & techniques to reaching people with dementia. This method was proven successful as it is based on the use of muscle memory. Muscle memory is that part of the memory that is used in repetitive muscle movement, for example in remembering how to ride a bike, play a musical instrument or read- Muscle memory (sometimes called procedural memory) tends to be less damaged in people with dementia and Alzheimer's. Because this procedural or muscle memory system may still be working properly in people who have dementia, the Montessori Approach can be used very successfully as a means to reach and engage people with memory loss. The philosophy of applying a Monessori Approach is to foster independence for as long as possible, offers choices, and treats people with respect and dignity.
Montessori uses activities as tools that help create the bridge to reconnect to people who may seem unreachable. Using these activities, Montessori programming gives seniors the opportunity to use their hands and their five senses to activate and stimulate their minds. Being able to focus on the task at hand and to experience success again helps people with memory loss feel more secure and confident and less angry and frustrated. The Montessori Approach focuses on the use of remaining strengths and abilities. This positive approach to dementia care is a source of creativity and comfort to people both with dementia and caregivers alike.
Montessori is most effective when incorporated in all areas of life. The goal is to engage each resident in meaningful moments that add purpose to their lives with the feeling of contribution to their community. This would be an individual process according to each person's level of ability, interests, needs and skills.
For instance, a person who constantly asks to go for a walk may do so because they can't remember that they just returned from their walk. A laminated card or schedule showing what time they last went for a walk and when someone will return to take them again will help to alleviate their anxiety.