Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Montessori and the Elderly - Practical Life Activites

The list of practical life activities to be performed by the seniors at the Bridge, an adult day program for the elderly, is growing. Yesterday, I brought with me to work a rug sweeper I bought for a $1 at our local salvation army: called Sallies by locals. Before I made the purchase, I stood in the store and looked it up and down while I imagined the happy faces of those who would soon be using it. Too, I thought about a few of the seniors that wander and wondered if rug sweeping might provide them an opportunity to feel useful via a domestic work that they may be familiar with while providing them movement. I grabbed it, paid for it and brought it to work on Monday morning. My boss looked a me as I carried it in, smiled and said, "I got it. Great idea. They are going to love it." And yes they did. But before I post pictures of that work, I want to share with you two other practical life activities frequently done by the seniors at the Bridge.

Too, I ask that you allow me to edit another well known Maria Montessori quote which reads, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed." My amended version reads, "Never help any individual with a task at which they feel they can succeed." As in the classroom, the greatest obstacle to the success of the seniors is the desire for the staff to "assist" them or to do the work themselves. Let them do it themselves, but yes, it's OK to stand near; how else would I have taken all my photographs. That becomes my activity and it gives my hands something to do instead of so call assisting; I take photographs.

Cloth folding is done every morning:

Salt shakers are filled as needed:

and the lids are polished:

Finally, rugs are cleaned:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. During the last few months of my MILs life, she was in an alzheimer's facility. I wish they had activities like yours. Movie night seemed like a good idea, except my MIL couldn't follow the story and soon wandered off. People stood around in the hall all day or wandered. It was sad.