Labor & WorkforcePersonnel

International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners Announces Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional Certification

February 21, 2022

International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, a globally recognized organization, announced a new innovative approach to care of elders with a diagnosis of Dementia. The Montessori Dementia Care Professional curriculum and certification called CMDCP® Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional® will change the way care is provided by staff and health care professionals. The core focus of the 7-hour seminar is Person Centered Care, Recognizing Infantilization, Respect of the Elder and Allowing Elders to Do for Themselves.

In settings that serve the elderly such as nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospice agencies, in home care, adult day care, hospitals settings, rehabilitation centers, and senior centers staff often overstep what they feel is being asked by an elder and do too much for an elder who can do so much more. This leads to dependency and depression. Another term for this is infantilization where we treat elders like children.

The Montessori principle was first introduced in schools by Maria Montessori. The Montessori principal focus is on independence. Maria is known for a famous quote, “Everything you do for me, you take away from me.”

To this day, the Montessori principles are used in schools around the world and throughout the United States.

Now, this method is being introduced to front line staff and health care professionals who care or provide services to elders with a diagnosis of dementia and is having great results. Additionally, this curriculum is having a profound effect on health care professionals and their way of thinking of an elder who has a diagnosis of Dementia.

The MDCP curriculum was developed by Denise Scruggs VP of Corporate Training with National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. ICCDP worked with Artis Senior Living of Princeton Junction and Sara Thompson Director of Life Enrichment to assist ICCDP in enhancing the ICCDP MDCP Montessori Dementia Care Professional curriculum with developing visual videos and photos that demonstrate the Montessori principles in their daily care practices, delivered by their care givers and innovative activity programs developed by Sara. The video and photos examples are visually stunning and poignant examples of the Montessori principles being implemented in daily care practices and activity programs. These Montessori principles are easy to understand and can be implemented in a home setting, long term care setting or health care related setting.

Denise Scruggs is currently Vice President of Corporate Training for the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, the sister company to ICCDP. She is also, Director of the Beard Center on Aging at the University of Lynchburg, and a columnist for the Senior News magazine. Denise is a dementia educator with over thirty years of experience working with persons living with dementia, their care partners, and family members in community, hospital, and eldercare settings. She has been a family caregiver for loved ones with dementia, a dementia support group facilitator, a community educator, a certified activity director, a memory care coordinator, and a trainer for first responders and other professionals. Denise was a recipient of the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioner’s Distinguished Educator of the Year Award and the Southern Gerontological Society’s Victor W. Marshall Fellow in Applied Gerontology for her advocacy and work in eldercare

ICCDP International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners established in 2015 to provide international standards in the area of Dementia education and certification to those who serve the elder community, in the way of two certifications, Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional and Certified Dementia Practitioner. ICCDP offers individual rates, special rates for association members and corporate group rates. For more information about ICCDP please visit or email Sandra Stimson For information about the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners contact or visit the website at

Artis Senior Living, a premier developer-owner-operator of assisted living residences, was formed by a group of seasoned senior living professionals on behalf of the Bainum family. Artis is committed to providing the finest level of care through a compassionate dedication to each resident’s comfort and needs. Most of its residences are dedicated to caring for individuals who live with Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders. Its portfolio includes twenty four assisted living communities in operation that are dedicated to serving seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as thirty communities in planning and three under construction nationwide. For more about Artis, please visit

Sara Thompson is a Director of Life Enrichment who has an Associates in Psychology and a passion for memory care. Her core beliefs focus is on the strengths of her residents through Montessori and person-centered care. The programming she conducts focuses on a person as a whole, getting to know who the person is, what their passions are, who they were before diagnosis and who they still want to be. Each and every person she works with is considered an individual and celebrated as such. She does not let their diagnosis define who they are and embraces their passions and brings them to life through her work.  Sara’s dedication to memory care residents supports dignity and honors their interests, engages their mind, and provides meaningful experiences. Her main mission is to change the way the world partners with those living with dementia by empowering those living with dementia and their family members through education and partnerships. Sara is a CADDCT Certified Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia Care Trainer by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She also holds a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional certification with International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.

Related Articles

Back to top button