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Montessori activities as a treatment of challenging behaviours in people with dementia

Prof Daniel O'Connor, Eva van der Ploeg
Research Centre DCRC Assessment and Better Care
Partner Institution Monash University
Project Description

We explored the effect of personalised one-to-one activities using Montessori principles (such as demonstrating and guiding repetition) in reducing agitation and eliciting positive affect and engagement in people with dementia.

We compared this intervention with simple social contact, where we did not apply the Montessori principles or prepared personalised activities, but simply read the newspaper with each individual. Both social contact and the personalised intervention were highly successful in reducing agitation (by approximately half).

The Montessori method, which does not rely on language, was more effective for people who had lost their fluency in English. Additionally, it resulted in more active participation, interest and positive affect than social contact.

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