Book Review with Lauretta Kaldor – 9 June 2015

Title: “RELATE MOTIVATE APPRECIATE A Montessori resource: Promoting positive interaction with people with dementia”
Author: Dr Eva van der Ploeg
Published by: Monash University and Alzheimers Australia
ISBN 978-1-921570-43-8

This manual provides practical activities that anyone caring for people who have dementia can use whether they are family carers, care staff, nursing staff or recreation staff. Many of you will already be doing similar activities especially if you have been following the teachings of the Montessori methods researched and written by Dr. Cameron Camp.Caring for people with dementia, the importance of providing and promoting positive interactions is not to be understated and not solely the role of activity staff. However, activity staff can help educate and encourage anyone who interacts with dementia clients to use the suggestions in this book. Having read this manual I would encourage readers to follow up with the books written by Dr Cameron Camp who has and has been warmly received on his Australian visits with his unique and well researched approach to dementia care.

Also this book was written and researched in Australia which is very encouraging. Many resources in the past that we have been using have been written in the USA or UK. The use of client stories used in this book is excellent and many staff and carers will be familiar with the episodes written here.

The manual outlines the basic set of Montessori principles and then presents 28 activities based on the senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. The book is set out like a cook book with recipes for success that are easily followed as it is meant for the lay person. Good illustrations add to the quality of the book.

The 28 activities are very familiar ones but can be a basis for creating and developing new activities. I am particularly impressed how the use of reading as an activity is suggested by doing a simple reading test and adapting an activity to suit the client’s capability.

I recommend this book to all staff and students working in dementia care. It can be purchased through Alzheimer’s Australia or borrowed from your local state Alzheimer’s library.

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