At Home: Montessori for Dementia Patients
Dementia has become a hot health care topic lately, as increasing numbers of families are affected by the slow-moving and devastating illness. But there’s hope: while scientists search for a cure, researchers are discovering methods to slow memory loss and provide a better quality of life for sufferers.
As The Globe and Mail reports, research suggests that using the Montessori method may allow dementia patients to function more fully at their level, which means less frustration and, as a result, fewer challenging behaviours.
According to Montessori philosophy, ?adapting the environment to suit the needs of children? allows kids to thrive, ?achiev[ing] higher levels of engagement.? Importantly, environmental manipulation helps the children to avoid boredom.
Recent studies from McMaster University suggest that ?boredom is a trigger? for dementia patients. Nursing homes that have adopted the Montessori philosophy are working to avoid this, creating ?[a]ctivities, visual cues, and roles and routines? appropriate to each patient’s abilities. These will provide patients ?with a sense of purpose and something to do, thereby reducing [their] agitation.? In addition, environmental cues can help them function despite their memory loss, avoiding ?anxiety and agitation.?
Best of all, It’s a non-invasive, person-centred technique that gives dementia sufferers a little more control over their lives.
Around the World: Flying Vegetables
Got an overabundance of zucchini, but tired of serving it for dinner? don’t be so quick to throw away the squash; someday, it might save your life.
As the Missoulian reports, a Montana woman recently used a giant zucchini to fight off an attacking black bear.
The woman was letting out her three dogs one night when she was startled by the bear, which suddenly began charging down the hill toward her. The bear attacked one of her dogs, ?aggressively rolling the dog around on the ground.? When the woman attempted to defend her pet, the bear turned on her instead, clawing her leg right through her jeans.
When the bear attempted to follow her into the house, the woman ?reached inside and grabbed the only object on the counter??a 14-inch zucchini she’d harvested from her own garden. She then simply ?threw the squash at it,? successfully scaring off the attacker.
Both the woman and her dog are ?doing fine,? but the bear is still at large. Presumably, though, It’s learned its lesson and will stay away from flying produce.