Our Approach to Memory Care Training

An Innovative Training Model That Produces Results for Residents and Providers

“I’m Still Here™” is an expression of Hearthstone’s founding belief that a person living with dementia is still there and can experience a high quality of life regardless of the severity of their memory loss. The Hearthstone Institute’s internationally-acclaimed training on the I’m Still Here approach offers healthcare providers an effective way to develop and re-energize their memory care programs.

Hearthstone’s unique “I’m Still Here™” principles underlie everything we do. Based on our own and others’ research, and on our collective decades of experience in the field of dementia treatment, these principles ensure that organizations trained by the Hearthstone Institute offer people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias the opportunity to truly flourish, and serve as the basis for our advisory and training services.

Organizations that partner with Hearthstone receive leading edge training that allows them to provide excellent care and a high quality of life for people living with cognitive challenges. Partner organizations include long and short term care organizations such as Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, CCRSs, Hospice, Home Care, hospitals, rehabs, and municipalities.


Hands-On Program Embedding Makes the Difference

Most classroom training, even those that include hands-on exercises, frequently leave trainees with general knowledge and tasks to carry out that they find difficult to implement in the real world.

Hearthstone’s signature implementation and mentoring visits – what we call “embedding” – improve on this dynamic, by having Instructors with real-world experience work side by side with trainees and demonstrate how to overcome the challenges they face daily. This process reinforces both the principles and practice of the training so that the behaviors and approaches learned are embedded in place over time creating a true culture of memory care excellence within an organization.

The beauty of the I’m Still Here™ approach is that, once staff members learn the basic principles, they can use them to make ANY program or activity more engaging. The activity materials used in the training (Hearthside Stories, Lingo Bingo, etc.) are just the beginning – we encourage staff members to use a wide variety of programs and supplies to keep their programs unique, engaging, and fresh for their residents and staff.

The Institute’s training and coaching model is enhanced by our instructors’ hands-on expertise at Hearthstone and over two decades of practical care giving experience. Continually refined and tested by our Research Division, the coaching curriculum has improved the quality of life for thousands of people affected by dementia around the world.


Three Levels of Training

To help ensure that the incorporation of the “I’m Still Here™” methodology is successful, Hearthstone offers training on three levels: (1) Leadership Training instills attitudes and behaviors that allow the “I’m Still Here™” approach to become part of the organization’s core philosophy and culture. (2) Management Training provides the management team with the tools to support and enable the successful implementation of the program. And (3) Staff Training ensures that the principles are understood and followed at every level of the organization.


Centers of Excellence

The Hearthstone Institute presents the designation as a certified “I’m Still Here” Center of Excellence” to organizations that have completed comprehensive training in the I’m Still Here™ approach by Hearthstone’s team of professionals. Presented over the course of several months, the certification training packages bundle together the basic I’m Still Here™ engagement, communication, and activities training modules with several focused “embedding visits” to implement skills learned in the classroom.
These organizations utilize our transformational, evidence-based training programs to create opportunities for true engagement and increased quality of life for residents living with memory challenges.

Map of Centers of Excellence

Improve your residents' lives and your market position today.

  • “I witnessed something today that I’ve been dreaming about for years. Hearthstone’s programming will truly put us at the head of the pack and make us a top provider of memory care.”

    – Executive Director

  • “The embedding—to have someone actually come here in person and show us how to put the parallel programming in place—has made the biggest impact!”

    – Executive Director