"Why" and "How" Articles
WHY MONTESSORI METHODS SUCCEED
Montessori visitation methods help the visitor engage a resident with the subject matter of the visit. Ideally, the visit is upon the needs and interests of the resident, with practical assistance so that she or he touches (experiences) the unlimited grace of God (his nurture, comfort, mercy, power). Click here to see the article.
HOW A GROUP OF "FRAIDIES" WENT FROM FEAR TO CONFIDENCE AFTER INSTANT TRAINING
This is just how it happened at a church near Chattanooga, TN a couple years ago. For two Sundays bulletin announcements invited people who felt called to visit residents of long-term care centers but who had no experience visiting strangers to attend brief training (just 25 minutes!) and then go visiting.
Now, the big obstacle for many people is fear: "I won't know what to say." So we gave each of these nervous new volunteer visitors a set of Smiles Up cards with some ideas about how to use them to start a conversation. Then we went to a facility. They filled out a survey before they went and again, after they each made two one-to-one visits. Here is how the moods of those "fraidy cat" visitors changed, as they rated themselves from 1 to 5:
and visits Two hours later
Cautious, apprehensive, nervous 2.8 1.8
Confident, eager, optimistic 3.6 4.5
Why it works. The training equips them to go in and have the visit. The experience of working with the Lord in ministering to His people (and to those who don't know Him) changes attitudes. A SmilesUp card, which uses the tried and true Montessori principle of sensory stimulation--it increases the visitor's confidence- and enlivens the resident's cognition. These prepare the way for conversation that can move in any direction that God leads, and they leave behind affirmation of His continuing love and presence. Fraidies no more, each of these volunteers has gone back to visit again.
Each card has verses on the back that provide a natural transition to Christian topics enlivens the resident's cognition if the resident is inclined at that time for the conversation to go that way. If not, that's okay. The volunteer's first goal is to show friendship and acceptance to the resident, just as Christ has done with us. The card is left with the resident as a reminder of the fact that God loves them and is available to them, now and forever!
HOW TO USE THE BOOK, REMEMBERING THE LIFE OF JESUS
This video shows Diana Walters sharing Remembering the Life of Jesus with a dementia patient. Click here to see the video.
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL WHEN TRYING A NEW ACTIVITY: Obstacles and How to Overcome Them
A brief guide to the four most common causes of failure in a new venture. Click here to see the article.
HOW TO USE MUSIC IN MINISTRY WITH DEMENTIA PATIENTS
The biblical basis, purpose, and benefits of using music, and specific suggestions about the songbook/CD, Songs About Jesus' Love. Click here to see the article.
HOW TO HAVE EFFECTIVE MINISTRY VISITATION WITH DEMENTIA PATIENTS
Persons with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia find considerably more meaning in worship visitation that recognizes and adapts to the mental and emotional changes that are part of their medical condition. Church-based and family visitors can bring spiritual nourishment to persons with dementia by using multi-sensory materials. Click here to see the article.
HOW TOUCHING GRACE BEGAN
A quick history of Touching Grace and how it fits in with other Montesorri-based activities. Click here to see the article.
HOW MONTESSORI-STYLE, MULTISENSORY WORSHIP INFLUENCES
THE AFFECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN WITH DEMENTIA
This is the abstract of the pioneering research done by Diana Walters. An article describing the research was published in 2007 in the journal, Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. 6(2), 233-243. Click here to see the abstract.
DIANA WALTERS' DISSERTATION: THE EFFECT OF MONTESSORI-STYLE, MULTI-SENSORY
WORSHIP ON THE AFFECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN WITH DEMENTIA
If the abstract wasn't enough, here is the whole thing. If you are accustomed to empirical research, you will recognize the commonly used five-chapter outline, and appreciate the systematic development of logical rigor and careful documentation of foundational thinking and source materials. And if you are not used to that sort of thing, Diana wasn't either when she began her graduate studies, but it is pioneer work done with excellence, as attested by its rapid publication in the major refereed academic journal cited just above. Click the PDF symbol to download the file>>>