Montessori, sensory programming beneficial to residents of all cognitive abilities

Rosebridge Manor resident Mabel Stevens is seen here folding laundry at the Jasper, Ont. long-term care home. Mabel has made it her job to fold laundry items for one hour every day, Monday to Saturday.

Rosebridge Manor engages as many residents as possible in popular program

For the past several years, staff members at Rosebridge Manor have found that Montessori-based activities and sensory stimulation programs have been beneficial to residents of all abilities and levels of cognitive function.

The Jasper, Ont. long-term care home hosts programming three mornings each week dedicated to both sensory and Montessori programming, which is provided in a relaxing environment.

“(The program) is for additional sensory stimulation,” life enrichment co-ordinator Kathy Barr tells The OMNIway. “We gear each individual activity to residents’ needs and abilities.”

For residents with advanced cognitive impairment, life enrichment staff members will provide hand massages with scented lotions for sensory stimulation.

Rosebridge Manor’s life enrichment department runs the program in the activity room with several tables set up with different activities.

There are many Montessori activities that residents enjoy as well, Kathy notes. For example, one resident likes sorting objects. Staff members will provide the man with objects, such as coloured discs, to sort be into bowls, and he will happily do the task.

Residents who do not have cognitive impairment also enjoy this program, Kathy says. Resident Mabel Stevens enjoys folding laundry – in fact, she likes folding laundry so much she has created a job for herself one hour per day, six days a week, folding laundry.

By doing this, Mabel is participating in an activity she enjoys, while helping the home’s environmental services department, Kathy says.

Kathy says one factor that has made the program successful is the help volunteers provide. Residents who do not have cognitive impairment can work on their projects alone, but residents who have cognitive impairment often require one-to-one time during the program, which is also where volunteers step in.

“It has been a really good program that has helped a lot of residents on a lot of levels,” she says.

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