The Hearthstone Institute

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.


Outcomes-Based Training that makes a Clear Difference

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.


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.


What Make the Hearthstone Institute Different?

  • We have been caring for people living with dementia and training staff on dementia care for 25 years
  • We have found ways to make aging with a memory challenge a happier, more hopeful process
  • We pioneered most of what are now considered industry best practices
  • Our approach is research-based and we know better than anyone else what works
  • We focus on keeping people healthy and engaged, not on the limitations imposed by memory loss

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.”

  • The Hearthstone Institute, teaches results-based best-practices to caregivers nationwide
  • Hearthstone’s Memory Care Residences, provide evidence-based therapeutic programming and care to persons with dementia
  • Hearthstone’s Research Division [link to research portion of site], develops and evaluates non-pharmacological interventions for persons with dementia, both in federally-funded and self-funded studies
  • The I’m Still Here Foundation develops, facilitates, and trains others on how to conduct world-class arts and cultural programming for persons with dementia that is inclusive and community-based

Thought Leaders and Innovators in Evidence-Based Memory Care

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:

  • Groundbreaking research and clinical trials
  • Innovative therapies and program development
  • Outcomes-based training systems
  • Articles in professional journals and industry publications
  • Consumer books on the Hope Model of caregiving
  • Participation on national advisory boards
  • Presentations at industry conferences throughout the United Sates and the world
  • Evidence-based facility design for purpose-built memory care environments

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.


This is where the call to action goes. Please include it here.

“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

  • “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