Implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia™ in Ontario long-term care homes: Recreation staff and multidisciplinary consultants’ perceptions of policy and practice issues

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Abstract

Montessori-based activities use a person-centred approach to benefit persons living with dementia by increasing their participation in, and enjoyment of, daily life. This study investigated recreation staff and multidisciplinary consultants’ perceptions of factors that affected implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia™ in long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada. Qualitative data were obtained during semi-structured telephone interviews with 17 participants who worked in these homes. A political economy of aging perspective guided thematic data analysis. Barriers such as insufficient funding and negative attitudes towards activities reinforced a task-oriented biomedical model of care. Various forms of support and understanding helped put Montessori Methods for Dementia™ into practice as a person-centred care program, thus reportedly improving the quality of life of residents living with dementia, staff and family members. These results demonstrate that when Montessori Methods for Dementia™ approaches are learned and understood by staff they can be used as practical interventions for long-term care residents living with dementia.

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