Report shows Ararat aged care facility 70 Lowe Street benefits from program

POWERFUL STORIES: Bernadette Cincotta, Norma, Ingrid Henry, Heather, Betty and Dr Wendy Penney at 70 Lowe Street in Ararat.
POWERFUL STORIES: Bernadette Cincotta, Norma, Ingrid Henry, Heather, Betty and Dr Wendy Penney at 70 Lowe Street in Ararat.

THE introduction of a program at an Ararat aged care facility has given residents a sense of purpose in their daily lives, research reveals.

The Montessori Model of Care was introduced at 70 Lowe Street in 2015. It works by altering the physical environment and staff training to reconnect people who may seem unreachable.

Federation University researchers reported on the impact of the initiative on staff at the East Grampians Health Service facility.

University senior research fellow Wendy Penney said it was anticipated implementing the Montessori program would not only improve quality of life for residents, but make a difference to how staff viewed the care they gave.

“The overwhelming common theme is the belief that Montessori gives residents a sense of purpose in their daily life, which includes having choice, maintaining an identity, being involved and having some independence,” Dr Penney said.

“The stories told are powerful, with participants describing how residents are happier, communicate better and have been given a voice.”

Registered nurses, enrolled nurses, patient care attendants, lifestyle co-ordinators, allied health and support staff were invited to participate in the program, which involved individual interviews and focus group meetings.

Dr Penney said staff spoke about enjoying coming to work and enjoying the home-like environment, feeling part of a team and satisfaction at being part of change.

The Montessori model gives residents the chance to use their hands and five senses to activate and stimulate their minds and helps people with dementia remain independent for as long as possible.