Dementia Care Site Map
Montessori method


Dr Maria Montessori was a pioneer who has influenced the lives of children and their families around the globe. During the early 1900s, she worked with children who were labelled 'unteachable'. Through a structured, supportive environment, she provided sensory and motor training and taught these children fundamental life skills.


*Her philosophy and mission was to

  • enable individuals to be as independent as possible
  • have a meaningful place in their community
  • possess high self-esteem, and
  • have the chance to make meaningful contributions to their community



Dr Cameron Camp, an internationally known research scientist in the field of ageing, examined this Montessori philosophy and principles and discovered important connections to dementia care. He was attracted to Dr Montessori's emphasis on the 'person' and her focus on abilities rather than disabilities that was central to all aspects of her work.



In dementia care, it is important to foster independence, high self-esteem and a promising future


The Montessori Method for Dementia is an evidence-based intervention that can enrich quality of life. Activities are the engine that drives this quality of life. Dr Camp believes that a person's self-esteem and mood can be greatly influenced by the success or failure experienced in activities and that they should always be meaningful to the individual.


If people with dementia are given choice and the opportunity, they can learn new things. With engaging activities, responsive behaviours can be significantly reduced. This approach fosters equality, respect and dignity and carers become 'enablers'.


To find out more about this Montessori Method, go to the Center for Applied Research in Dementia.


(*Ref: Gail M. Elliot Basc, Ma (2011) Montessori Methods for Dementia - Focusing on the Person and the Prepared Environment. The Franklin Press, Moonah TAS.)

NEW RESOURCE - Montesorri methods for people with dementia

Purposeful Activities for Dementia is a Montessori-based professional development and education resource developed for aged care and dementia care staff and carers.


Purposeful activities for Dementia complements other professional development resources about engaging people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, including the downloadable Relate Motivate Appreciate toolkit. Purposeful activities for dementia was developed by Alzheimer's Australia VIC for families and aged care staff.


Purposeful Activities for Dementia offers practical ways that carers - including activity support workers, personal care attendants and other aged care professionals - can work together to engage people living with dementia in purposeful activities at home and in social groups.


The videos by Alzheimer's Australia VIC on this website explore the way in which Montessori techniques can enrich the lives of people living with dementia. Many of the educational activities in the following video are based on this approach.


Montessori Stepping Stones - Brenner Pathways

This video uses the Montessori Method to engage people living with Alzheimer's and dementia click on the video to watch.



Information sourced from Brenner Pathways