Jewish HomeLife has partnered with The Hearthstone Institute – a world leader in the development of evidence-based tools for memory care – and adopted it’s I’m Still Here® approach. I’m Still Here® is a proven philosophy that emphasizes purposeful engagement by using specialized communication techniques, an enriched environment, and activities that encourage personal choice and support learning. When residents are involved in activities that are meaningful and interesting to them, behaviors such as the “4 A’s of Alzheimer’s” – agitation, anxiety, aggression and apathy – are reduced.
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Memory Care Center of Excellence
Berman Commons is one of only 34 senior care communities in the country to be a Hearthstone-certified I’m Still Here® Memory Care Center of Excellence – in fact, there are only three Centers of Excellence in Georgia, and they are all part of the Jewish HomeLife network. We are happy to walk you through our approach and what it could mean for your loved one.
What Does This Mean
It means that every staff member of the Jewish HomeLife care network, including The William Breman Jewish Homeand Berman Commons have participated in a rigorous training and implementation program developed by the Hearthstone Institute. Over six months, our team has received extensive training in Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, communication techniques and life enrichment strategies to give residents and their families an unprecedented memory care experience.
Our program at a glance:
Purpose-driven engagement program that empowers residents to utilize their skills and abilities
Parallel programming customized for each resident’s interests and personal stage of memory impairment
Dedicated Activities Director and experienced caregivers with advanced dementia care training in the I’m Still Here® approach
Full-time LPNs on staff to ensure quality care
Private dining room with the same delicious, chef-prepared, kosher meals, but presented in a way that works best for each individual
Top-floor studios and open concept design overlooking the MJCCA ball fields
Bright and spacious living and activities areas smartly-designed for those with cognitive impairment
Secure outdoor patio for residents to enjoy fresh air and the sights and sounds of the outdoors
Secure Memory Garden with walking paths and benches
Evidence-Based Approach Funded by National Institutes of Health
Supported by more than 25 years of research and field testing by Hearthstone, the methodology of this evidence-based, non-pharmacologic program is founded on Montessori-inspired learning approaches, as well as carefully researched assessment tools designed to reveal skills and abilities in each person.
What Makes I’m Still Here® Unique?
I’m Still Here® is based on the belief that every person living with dementia can experience a high quality of life regardless of the severity of their memory loss. Through this groundbreaking philosophy, we can:
- Increase meaningful engagement
- Improve quality of life
- Decrease the severity of symptoms associated with memory challenges
- Create opportunities for true, purposeful engagement, regardless of cognitive challenges
- Celebrate the person who is always present, even as the disease progresses
- Reveal the skills and abilities in each person
- Promote independence
Using meaningful engagement as the basis for our person-centered approach, we create a full social life with new learning experiences, contributions to the community and participation in volunteer programs. I’m Still Here® ensures that unique interests and skills are incorporated into each person’s day through interest clubs, learning stations and parallel programming.
Experiences Rather Than Activities:
People living with dementia do not enjoy “busy work” any more than we do. The I’m Still Here® approach provides a choice of meaningful experiences to each resident throughout the day. Social roles and membership in a wide variety of clubs and classes ensures that residents are part of a social context each day. Hearthstone’s extensive research into uncovering skills and methods to engage people based on their personal interests and abilities enables us to incorporate true purpose into each activity experience. Ultimately, the goal of I’m Still Here® is to create opportunities for residents to express their preferences, thereby increasing their independence, self-confiedence and overall well-being.