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Gail Elliot speaking at Dementia Support

Lunch & Learn Talk with Gail Elliot

By Jonathan Nagelmakers

Marketing Assistant Intern

We recently hosted an interactive lunch & learn session about the Montessori Methods for Dementia and it was a great success! We had a full house of caregivers, social workers, GEM nurses, PSWs, and other care professionals who were eager to learn about how here at Dementia Support Dov & Zipora Burnstein Senior Centre we are using Montessori Methods to revolutionize dementia care in Toronto. The philosophy of the Montessori Methods for Dementia is simple: encourage independence for as long as possible, offer choices, and treat people with respect and dignity.

Our featured speaker was Gail Elliot, who discussed the benefits and strategies of the Montessori Methods for Dementia and how it is bringing considerable advancement to the care of those with dementia.

04Gail is the developer of the Montessori Methods for Dementia, founder and CEO of DementiAbililty, and previously the assistant director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging at McMaster University. If you want to learn about using Montessori Methods for Dementia, Gail is the person to speak to – she runs classes that will train you in the methods. It will give you insight into why the program was developed and how it can have amazing improvements on the quality of life for those with dementia.

Practical Life workshop table at Dementia Support

The attendees were seated at four tables representing the four pillars of the Montessori Methods for Dementia: Sensory, Practical Life, Social Cultural & Spiritual, and Cognitive. Each pillar has its own activities that were on display. At the Sensory table you could match unlabelled spice jars with their respective labels and at the Practical Life table you could fold towels and match socks. At the Cognitive table you could do counting tasks and at the Social, Cultural & Spiritual table you could match photos of holidays to their proper names. While these activities may seem simple for most of us, for those with dementia they can be a key aid in slowing the progression of their symptoms.Social, Cultural, & Spiritual workshop table at Dementia Support

After Gail’s presentation we had open house discussion, allowing the attendees to explore the environment we have setup specifically to increase the quality of life for those with dementia. With a wide open and clean space we provide a great environment that many institutions are now looking to incorporate into their own dementia care.

05By taking into consideration an individual’s interests, needs, skills and abilities and introducing meaningful and purposeful activities, we have enjoyed tremendous success reconnecting with people who may have otherwise seemed unreachable. Montessori programming incorporates activities related to daily living, stimulation for dementia, cognitive abilities, and encourages cultural and social connections.

If you would like to learn more about the Montessori Methods for Dementia you can contact us for FREE consultation.





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