Pathways ™: Brain-Healthy Clubs, Classes & Committees for Active Seniors

Pathways™ is an innovative day program that can be run on an Assisted or Independent Living campus and in the surrounding community. The program features brain-boosting activities that are of interest to active seniors, including exercise, art and cultural experiences, intergenerational projects and community service as well as excursions to local points of interest, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues with friends.

Exercise, socialization and cognitive stimulation are critical for achieving optimal levels of brain health and functionality throughout a person’s lifetime. The Hearthstone Institute’s Pathways™ program offers all of these and more!

Through the program’s clubs, classes and committees, participants enjoy opportunities to learn new things, such as playing a musical instrument, creating a sculpture or using new computer software, and to participate in old favorites like playing card clubs and book club discussion groups. Participants are encouraged to become teachers themselves and help others to learn new skills.

Staff trained to set up Pathways™ programs and to make them successful demonstrate greater job satisfaction, acquire a more wide-ranging set of skills that benefit the community as a whole, have the choice of a new career opportunity, and enjoy better quality relationships with their clients.

Pathways™ Objectives

Pathways™ programs are a way to compensate for the losses of aging by creating meaningful roles and relationships for the participants through a structured, coordinated, evidence-based approach.

Active participation in learning programs with an effective trained staff compensates clients for the loss of friends and community, status, position, social membership and meaningful pursuits.  Staff trained to carry out Pathways™ programs can increase your company’s reach into local markets by integrating clients who are residents with clients from the community, thus relieving the burden on families by alleviating the rapid advance of cognitive challenges and increasing competitive advantage.

The goal of Pathways™ is to create meaningful experiences adapted for success based on the evidence-based I’m Still Here® approach.

The Pathways™ Clubs, Classes & Committees

Pathways™ programs are not simple classroom lectures and exercises. Programs take the form of Clubs, Classes and Committees. This makes it possible to adapt the programs to the needs and resources available in each situation and to different types and levels of residents.

 Impacted AreaPsychological BenefitGlobal Benefits
ClubsMembershipSocial ContactsImproved self-confidence &
authentic mutual relationships among residents and staff
ClassesLearningMeaningful experiences
CommitteesDecision MakingSelf image

Institute Staff Training on Pathways™

Institute staff training programs for Pathways™ include:

  • Conceptual and operational distinctions between Clubs, Classes and Committees
  • Effective methods for conducting focus groups with participants to discover their interests, desires and needs
  • Using residents’ life stories and skills assessments to create engaging Club, Class and Committee activities
  • Skills and abilities of the Pathways™ Director
  • Using skills-based adaptation techniques – including Montessori learning philosophies, templates and visual cues – to functionally adapt learning experiences
  • Strategies for creating meaningful social roles within clubs, classes and committees
  • Best-practice invitation and communication techniques that increase resident participation
  • Identification, recruitment and training of resident leaders
  • Techniques for facilitating Clubs, Classes and Committees (how to lead silently)
  • Staff mentoring: pilot/co-pilot approach
  • Problem-solving common challenges

Benefits of Pathways™ Training

For Residents

  • Higher resident satisfaction
  • Greater resident involvement in community life
  • More positive resident-to-resident interactions
  • Greater engagement that alleviates depression
  • Reduced need for behavior-altering medications
  • More secure gait for fewer falls

For Family Members

  • Feel better about their decision to move their loved one into assisted living
  • Less guilt and burden for family members
  • Reduced complaints and dissatisfaction from family members
  • Family members develop new connections with residents through shared interests

For Staff

  • Greater staff satisfaction
  • Greater focus on quality of life and less on activities of daily living
  • Greater staff stability over time
  • Strengthening of relationships between staff and residents through pursing mutual interests
  • Greater feeling of reciprocity between staff and residents

For Marketing Efforts

  • Unique offering—a differentiator
  • Program is highly visible, thus sells itself when shown
  • Selling positive life engagement : moving in is viewed as a positive, uplifting change—a chance to embrace the physical and social benefits of a new, vibrant community—rather than an unwelcome transition to their “last home”
  • Improved corporate image in the community
  • Company presents as forward-looking and becomes employer of choice
  • Contribution to the positive narrative on aging and reaching broader market.

Improve your residents' lives and your market position today.

  • “Our caregivers are more patient with the residents. They have a better understanding that caring means more than just meeting their basic needs—food, personal care, etc.”

    – Staff Member