Little Boy Doing School Homework With Old Man At Home
Project Type - Pilot Projects

ISM: An Intergenerational Montessori-Based Approach for Successful Aging

Promoting successful aging in older adults and independence in children
Latin America & Caribbean


By 2050, it is estimated that there will be 131.5 million people with dementia and 68% of them will reside in low to middle-income countries. The total cost of care for dementia will be more than 2 trillion USD and nearly 85% of these costs will be related to family and social, rather than medical care. Dementia is not curable, but between 35% and 56% of the identified risk factors are modifiable. Consequently, prevention is better than cure. Even though intergenerational activities and Montessori programs have demonstrated positive outcomes in people with dementia, there is a dearth of preventive intervention trials before cognitive decline. Therefore, Intergenerational Senior Montessori (ISM), can be an effective strategy to tackle risk factors for dementia and promote successful ageing in older adults, while promoting independence in children.

Project Details

ISM is a feasibility study involving complex interventions and mixed methodology. ISM is divided into 3 modules (18 sessions):

  1. Mentoring
  2. PPI (public & patient involvement) Design
  3. Intervention 

Based on Montessori principles, elders learn how to become mentors and design intergenerational activities for the ISM pillars (cognition, exercise, sociability). Up to 15 elders with the corresponding number of pre-schoolers (3-5 years) participate on 12 sessions at CENCINAI (Costa Rica). Evaluations include quantitative data (number of participants that completed ISM), semi-structured interviews (acceptability, adaptability & replicability) and clinimetric scales (MMSE, cardiovascular risk index, ESTE II, UCLA LS) for exploratory health outcomes in elders.

ISM hypothesizes that intergenerational Montessori-based activities are viable in a community setting in Costa Rica and proposes a research question to identify the levels of satisfaction and describe the participant's lived experience. In addition, ISM it hypothesizes that there are potential exploratory health outcomes for elders.