Course Catalog

The I’m Still Here® approach discovers and utilizes skills and knowledge that remain in a person living with any stage of dementia. The approach is grounded in a philosophy of respect and dignity, and emphasizes abilities that are still available to those with dementia knowing that the creation of meaningful social roles increases purposeful living.

The goal of all the Institute staff training programs is to incorporate their knowledge and experience of caring for dementia into a plan-of-care using the I’m Still Here® methodology. Please feel to read more about the various courses that are available to our organizational partners.

Basic Training

I’m Still Here® Communication Techniques
This interactive course teaches effective verbal and nonverbal techniques for successfully communicating with persons experiencing all stages of memory loss. Strategies for handling common challenges are discussed and practiced, including how to reduce or prevent anger, agitation, and fear .

The I’m Still Here® Dining Experience
Trainees learn how to use the Dining Experience as an opportunity for social interaction and cognitive stimulation. Using teacher-trainee interaction, participants learn how to provide a pleasant and meaningful dining experience for persons with memory loss.

The I’m Still Here® Approach to Managing Challenging Behaviors
The I’m Still Here® approach to managing challenging behaviors provides real-world strategies for intervention that can decrease the incidence of common dementia-related behaviors such as agitation, aggression and repetitive question-asking. Case studies as well as staff’s own experiences are utilized to illustrate effective techniques.

The I’m Still Here® Personal Care Experience
This course applies the I’m Still Here® principles to one of the care partner’s most challenging tasks: providing personal care for a person with dementia. Specific techniques to make tasks such as bathing, toileting and dressing relaxed and stress-free for both parties are described and practiced, including the use of templates and signs that encourage individuals to maintain responsibility for their personal care.

The I’m Still Here® Activity Experience (Basic)
The I’m Still Here® approach to activity programming focuses on creating high levels of meaning and engagement for persons living with dementia, whatever the severity of their memory loss. This basic training module creates staff proficiency and confidence in presenting basic activities to residents individually or in small groups.

Advanced Training

The I’m Still Here® Activity Experience (Advanced)
This interactive workshop includes role-playing and the hands-on creation of activity materials and best-practice methods for effective implementation of activity programming, using I’m Still Here® principles. The workshop is for personnel responsible for implementing the I’m Still Here® Activity Program (activity professionals and key caregivers).

Resident-lead Activity Programming(RAP™)
Enabling persons with dementia to lead some activities helps give meaning to their days while also providing relief to busy Activity Directors and creating opportunities for meaningful one-on-one interaction with peers. Our experience has shown that persons living with dementia often have many remaining skills that they enjoy practicing and sharing with others. This course provides instruction to staff on how to train persons with dementia to fill the role of group activity leader for their peers.

I’m Still Here® Individualized Learning Stations
Trainees learn how to design and set up I’m Still Here® Learning Stations – individualized spaces located throughout a residence where residents can go to get new information, revisit previous knowledge, participate in familiar tasks, or experience new adventures. Trainees learn simple and effective ways of integrating Learning Stations into the environment so they offer opportunities for independent learning and social engagement. While some stations emphasize new information opportunities, others – such as making body scrubs and arranging flowers – encourage residents to express their creativity.

The I’m Still Here® Skills Inventory Tool
Staff receive training on how to use the I’m Still Here® Skills Inventory Tool™ (ISHSIT): an evidence-based assessment tool created by Hearthstone’s Research Division.  Trainees learn to administer the tool, which provides insight into often overlooked resident skills through a series of engaging, non-threatening activities. Designed to assess residents’ skills and abilities for programming, this tool helps care personnel determine optimal levels of activities stimulation, as well as the best social grouping.

I’m Still Here® Program Evaluation Webinar
This virtual course in an easily accessible ‘webinar’ format provides organizations with simple tools to evaluate the effectiveness of Hearthstone Institute training for their organization. Course topics include: evaluation plan, engagement evaluation training, I’m Still Here® evaluation training, utilizing existing data, data collection, and analysis.

ARTZ: Arts and Culture Experience
Based on more than a decade of research and field testing in communities across the United States and internationally, this course provides instruction on how to create and implement a rich arts and culture experience for residents living with all stages of memory challenges. Exposure to the arts has been shown to increase feelings of self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-expression for persons living with dementia.

Procedural Interval Learning (PIL)™
Procedural Interval Learning (PIL)™ is a highly successful technique used to help persons living with dementia learn new information by practicing procedures rather than by memorizing words or concepts. Staff trained to use this tool acquire new skills and a positive approach to managing behavior. PIL is linked to procedural memory systems, ingrained skills, long-term habits, motor learning, and repetition priming.

The Scripted-IMPROV™ Drama Program
This interactive workshop provides staff and care partners with the skills and resources needed to implement a Drama Club and to put on semi-improvisational performances with residents. This course is specifically designed to enable NON-ACTORS to have fun engaging participants in the dramatic arts. Training in Scripted-IMPROV™ is based on more than three years of federally-funded research and development.

I’m Still Here®: Level-Adjusted Programming
In learning how to engage and stimulate persons with dementia, care partner staff need to know how to adapt their program activities for different levels of dementia.  This course teaches the skills necessary for ‘good fit’ programming – that is, ensuring that the activities selected are neither too difficult – leading to feelings of failure and disengagement – nor too easy – leading to boredom and leaving.

I’m Still Here®: Resident-Directed Volunteer Projects
Trainees learn how to set up and run comprehensive community-based activity initiatives in this course that takes the I’m Still Here® basic activity training to the next level. Selected by memory care residents, these projects offer a long-term alternative to traditional single-day activity programs in the community and help foster a sense of accomplishment and create a connection to hardwired altruistic memories. Upon completion of this course, trained staff have helped residents to set up food/clothing drives, fundraising for a cause, support for US armed forces, community garden projects and animal shelter support.

Creating and Utilizing I’m Still Here® Memory Books
Memory books are important tools in the I’m Still Here® approach. They are used to promote individualized and personalized activities as well as opportunities for reminiscence. Trainees learn to create and use Memory Books and to build up a valuable stock of engagement tools. When combined with R.A.P. ™ programming Memory Books provide participants with an engaging way to learn about each other, which can lead to a strengthening of interpersonal relationships and an increase in respect and dignity for all.

I’m Still Here® Support Training Sessions

Leadership Training
This training session focuses on inspiring organizational leadership in excellent dementia care and the necessary role it plays in the successful implementation of the I’m Still Here® philosophy within an organization.

Communication Adaptations for Multilingual Caregiving Environments
This course addresses the challenges of multilingual environments by teaching practical techniques for staff to encourage and facilitate communication between persons who speak different languages. Memory care communities are often made up of staff and residents from different backgrounds and nationalities, which can create challenges with language and dialect. As dementia progresses individuals can tend to favor their native language, regardless of other languages they may have learned and used. Our course teaches staff ways of managing such challenges so as to avoid feelings of frustration, mistrust and confusion and to increase the effectiveness of their care.

The I’m Still Here® Approach to Sales and Marketing
Hearthstone believes the foundation of all effective sales efforts begins with demonstrating value by providing families with resources and guidance. Our proprietary relationship-based I’m Still Here® sales approach specifically highlights the differentiators of the I’m Still Here® approach and builds relationships that lead to move-ins while shortening the sales cycle. This best-practice methodology is utilized in leading memory care communities throughout the US and internationally.

Improve your residents' lives and your market position today.

  • “The residents really enjoyed the dining experience. “Isn’t this lovely!” If we keep this up, I believe we might see major changes in those who are underweight, and changes in behavior!”

    – Nurse