Implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia: A Scoping Review

Gerontologist. 2017 Oct 1;57(5):e94-e114. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw147.


Purpose of the study: A scoping review was conducted to develop an understanding of Montessori-based programing (MBP) approaches used in dementia care and to identify optimal ways to implement these programs across various settings.

Design and methods: Six peer-reviewed databases were searched for relevant abstracts by 2 independent reviewers. Included articles and book chapters were those available in English and published by the end of January 2016. Twenty-three articles and 2 book chapters met the inclusion criteria.

Results: Four approaches to implementing MBP were identified: (a) staff assisted (n = 14); (b) intergenerational (n = 5); (c) resident assisted (n = 4); and (d) volunteer or family assisted (n = 2). There is a high degree of variability with how MBP was delivered and no clearly established "best practices" or standardized protocol emerged across approaches except for resident-assisted MBP.

Implications: The findings from this scoping review provide an initial road map on suggestions for implementing MBP across dementia care settings. Irrespective of implementation approach, there are several pragmatic and logistical issues that need to be taken into account for optimal implementation.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Caregiving—formal; Dementia; Montessori-based activities; Person-centered care.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dementia / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care*