Anglicare’s Elizabeth Lodge Residential Care Home is the first home in Australia to receive Montessori accreditation.
A model of care that focuses on independence, choice, self esteem and meaningful engagement, Montessori encompasses a person centred approach. The staff at Elizabeth Lodge have been working to create an environment and a method of care that goes beyond just physical care of their residents, many of whom live with dementia.
“The Montessori method is about understanding the people in your care, and looking at their capabilities rather than their shortcomings,” explains Rae Blackledge, Manager of Elizabeth Lodge.
“The method challenges you to change the environment as well as how you care for the person living within that environment so that you can provide meaning and purpose to their day.
“If they can do a job, give them a job to do and work around their limitations. Break down tasks for them into manageable actions. Use cue cards and bright signs around the home to assist people with memory loss. Not only does this reduce anxiety, it empowers them to make some decisions for themselves so that they can retain a level of dignity and independence.”
For Anne Kelly, Managing Director at Montessori Ageing Support Services, Ms Blackledge has led and mentored a passionate and committed team to develop a Montessori Environment within Elizabeth Lodge.
“Elizabeth Lodge deserve this recognition and as the first service provider in Australia to receive such a status, they are to be applauded. Montessori Ageing Support Services looks forward to a long relationship with Elizabeth Lodge as they continue their quest to ensure a quality Montessori environment for all residents, staff and families,” Ms Kelly says.
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