Our Approach to Memory Care

I’m Still Here®

I’m Still Here® is a philosophy of memory care based on the belief that a person living with dementia is ‘still here’ and can experience a high quality of life regardless of the degree of memory loss. Hearthstone’s unique I’m Still Here® methodology underlies our residential programs.

What Sets Us Apart

At Hearthstone our goal is to provide care and activity programs designed uniquely for persons living with all forms and stages of cognitive challenges. Our approach has been shown to significantly reduce the four A’s of Alzheimer’s: Apathy, Anxiety, Agitation and Aggression — the most common symptoms of dementia.

Reaching for the Intact Emotional Self

Hearthstone’s approach to care and treatment is based on discovering, understanding, and activating the positive memories that remain in every individual, even as the disease progresses. Our residential environments support individuals’ existing skills and knowledge and support  to ensure that Residents retain their memories for as long as possible. We focus on helping Hearthstone Residents feel empowered and successful in everything they do.

Empowering Residents to See Their Skills and Abilities

Feeling needed and living with purpose are basic human desires that provide each of us with a feeling of self-worth. Consequently, Hearthstone’s innovative I’m Still Here® approach is designed to provide ongoing opportunities for Hearthstone Residents to contribute to the community by participating in meaningful and purposeful experiences throughout their day. Residents are invited to help with tasks that utilize their skills and interests, including serving meals to each other, choosing topics for study and discussion, sorting and delivering mail, teaching a hobby or skill, sanding a piece of furniture, leading a reading group, or assisting with checking an order of supplies, to name just a few.

Designing the Hearthstone Website

Hearthstone Residents were invited to participate in a variety of different aspects of our website design, including advising on the look and content of the site, participating in a Focus Group about the new website, and taking and selecting photos of their home to illustrate the site. You can view the photos that were taken by Residents by going to the Woburn and Marlborough residence pages.

Unlike many Memory Support programs today that focus on entertainment, inviting Hearthstone Residents to participate in a meaningful experience such as our web site design ensures they continue to experience the joy of living with purpose.

Good Health is Fundamental

Because it is often difficult for people living with a cognitive challenge to voice specific health concerns, Hearthstone Nurses and Resident Companions are vigilant for the slightest discomfort or change in function in each Resident. We use a combination of medications, exercise, good nutrition, and an active, engaged lifestyle to provide an optimally healthy environment.

Supportive Environmental Design

Careful architectural design in the Hearthstone residences offers a comforting and supportive environment for Residents. By building in memory cues and naturally familiar places, the residences provide physical surroundings that eliminate sources of frustration, and instead support independent actions and personal choice. Throughout the thoughtfully designed interiors there are visually engaging paths to encourage movement and accommodate pacing, access to healing gardens and the outdoors, and physical cues that give Residents confidence in orienting themselves and performing everyday activities with minimal assistance from our staff.  

Coordinated Non-Pharmacological Treatment

Rather than relying on medical interventions to control behavior, The Hearthstone Treatment Program uses skilled staff, a well-designed environment and innovative programming to help Residents continue to flourish.

  • Residents’ own definition of reality is accepted and woven into interactions and conversations.
  • Daily routines empower Residents by utilizing procedural memory systems for positive results.
  • Continuous activity experiences promote the sense of belonging to a community and support each Resident’s individuality.
  • Communication continues to be supported through non-verbal methods including music, touch, and art.

Hearthstone Programs are Designed to Support All Stage of Alzheimer’s

Treatment includes:

  • Daily assistance with all activities of daily living
  • Medication reminders and management
  • A home-like setting and atmosphere that reduces anxiety
  • Security that provides reassurance and independence
  • Continuous program of engaging life-quality activities
  • 24-hour awake staff supports Residents with sleep disturbances
  • Ongoing training in the I’m Still Here® approach for all staff
  • Caregiver support groups for spouses and children
  • Enriched environments to decrease disorientation
  • Healing gardens to combat the effects of “sundowning” and depression


Our Approach To Memory Care

Staff excellence and training

The Exceptional People who interact with Hearthstone Residents throughout the day are what makes Hearthstone’s program unique. We are fortunate to have over 100 dedicated staff members on our team.

Off-the-Floor Training acquaints staff with the various aspects of their jobs … from forms, to medication management, to activities, to “the flow” of the day.

Teamwork Training designed by Hearthstone President Dr. John Zeisel, helps everyone working at Hearthstone, whether in the Residences or at the Home Office, respond rapidly and effectively to the needs of Residents and their families. Each team member is empowered to make decisions with coworkers that speed up response times and keep staff sensitive to residents’ and families’ needs.

Hearthstone’s Mentoring Programming provides all new employees with on-the-floor training with Hearthstone’s most experienced Resident Companions (caregivers). Mentors guide new employees through daily routines based on the I’m Still Here® approach.

In-Service Education is built into the I’m Still Here® approach, using regular staff meetings and scheduled trainings to keep staff motivated and up-to-date on new approaches to dementia treatment.

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Contact us today to plan your visit.

  • My mother was given the priceless gift of reconnecting with the part of her that is and always will be a musician. Seeing my mother’s true spirit come back to life, and shine through her eyes that day she began to play music again was an experience I will never forget. – Resident’s daughter, Englewood, NJ

  • My mother was given the priceless gift of reconnecting with the part of her that is and always will be a musician. Seeing my mother’s true spirit come back to life, and shine through her eyes that day she began to play music again was an experience I will never forget. – Resident’s daughter, Englewood, NJ