At the Hearthstone Institute, it is our mission to create “A Life Worth Living” for those with cognitive challenges by enriching their lives and offering hope. For us, this means a life filled with purpose where days are filled with social activities and engaging experiences. It’s a life in which they and their families can enjoy meaningful interactions, continue to contribute to their community and look forward to each new day.
The Hearthstone Institute fulfills this mission by offering innovative training to all types of organizations that provide care to persons with progressive memory loss. This evidence-based training helps to ensure that a diagnosis of dementia does not signal the end of a person’s meaningful life. After all, people with Alzheimer’s can live 15 years after their diagnosis—and how those years are spent matters.
Hearthstone’s clinical research and innovative programs have proven that the years following a diagnosis can be filled with opportunities to create positive, fulfilling experiences that enable people with memory loss to live engaged and purposeful lives.
Hearthstone represents a network of professionals associated with a brand that has become synonymous world-wide with excellence in caring for the memory impaired. Founded in 1992 to provide innovative treatment for people with dementia in senior care settings, Hearthstone has been a recognized leader in dementia care and staff training for more than two decades.
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.
The Hearthstone Institute is part of Hearthstone LLC, which consists of four complementary organizational components, each of which plays an essential role in achieving “A Life Worth Living.”
Since its inception over twenty years ago, Hearthstone has been at the forefront of both memory care scholarship and leading-edge applications in the care setting. This leadership is evidenced by:
Most recently, Dr. Zeisel and Hearthstone Alzheimer Care were featured in ARGENTUM’s (formerly ALFA) Senior Living Executive magazine in the article, “Memory Care: Improve Theater Awakens New Expression for Residents and Staff.” Also, Hearthstone was named a Breakthrough Innovator for its Scripted-IMPROV™ program in the 2016 National Study of Memory Care Best practices titled Senior Living Innovation Series: Memory Care.
In addition, Dr. Zeisel was the Keynote speaker for the 2016 Memory Care Symposium in Washington, D.C., which was co-sponsored by ARGENTUM and MatrixCare.
“Incorporating I’m Still Here™ has improved our engagement program significantly. The quality of life has certainly improved because of Hearthstone.”
-Assisted Living Program Director