An Explicitly Positive Approach to Memory Care
The Hearthstone Institute’s innovative I’m Still Here™ approach to memory care, based on Dr. Zeisel’s book of that name, is the only explicitly positive approach to the management and care of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. By positive, we don’t mean celebrating this scourge that visits nearly half of elders over 85, but rather an approach that celebrates the person who is always present, even as the disease progresses through its later stages.
The I’m Still Here™ Approach utilizes evidence-based, non-pharmacologic methods of working with persons living with cognitive impairments. The approach has been researched for over 20 years and has been field-tested extensively at Hearthstone’s assisted living residences. The principles used have consistently demonstrated that they can increase levels of engagement, participation, satisfaction, success and quality of life for persons living with memory challenges as well as significantly reduce the common symptoms associated with dementia, including apathy, aggression, agitation and anxiety (The Four A’s™ of Alzheimer’s).
The I’m Still Here™ approach is rooted in Dr. Zeisel’s innovative Hope Model. This model places the focus on what care-partners—both staff and family members—can do to make a positive difference in the lives of people living with dementia. The core philosophy of the approach centers on purposeful “engagement” throughout a person’s day including personal care, dining, and activity experiences.