By Jen McNeil.
In sync with its longstanding commitment to providing leading-edge Alzheimer’s care, Tuesday afternoon the Meadows Heath Center for skilled care at Edgewood Retirement Community in North Andover became the first organization in Massachusetts -- and just 8 globally -- to receive the Hearthstone “I’m Still Here™” Center of Excellence Certification. This distinction is given to only 2-3 care organizations per year outside of the six locations that Hearthstone runs itself in MA in NY. The Meadows at Edgewood has also received Best Nursing Home Rankings for 2013 and 2012 from US News & World Report.
For Edgewood the “I’m Still Here™” certification comes after seven months of highly interactive training delivered by the I’m Still Here™Institute of Woburn MA. Edgewood’s achievement reflects its deep commitment to providing highly customized, innovative care, communications, and engagement experiences for those living with Alzheimer’s at Edgewood.
At the core of Edgewood Meadows and Hearthstone’s memory care philosophy-- is a belief that non-pharmacological treatments using the power of touch, music, art, light, exercise and design are also critical in making the lives of people with Alzheimer’s more peaceful, connected and happy. The I’m Still Here™ Approach is based on over 20 years of research conducted by Hearthstone’s research team. These techniques provide persons living with memory challenges an opportunity to enjoy a fully engaging lifestyle and true learning experiences. The I’m Still Here™ philosophy draws on the work of Maria Montessori as well as leaders in the field of non-pharmacologic interventions and Hearthstone’s own research to provide people with meaningful choice and a high quality of life throughout the disease process.
“I was blown away by the response at Edgewood to the “I’m Still Here™,” training. They really embraced it,” said Sharon Johnson Director of the Hearthstone Institute and Marking VP. “ We saw over 100 staff members attending some sessions -- the largest group we’ve ever had -- spanning across all roles from clinical staff, maintenance and housekeeping to dining services, administration, activities and marketing. Remarkable.”To commemorate and celebrate the certification, a ceremony was held at Edgewood on September 10th welcoming Edgewood employees and their families. There Natalie MacBrien, Chief Health Officer at the Meadows at Edgewood accepted the “I’m Still Here™” crystal award from Co-Founder and President of the Hearthstone Foundation Dr. John Zeisel, a renowned sociologist, former Harvard professor, and award winning architect & designer of innovative senior living facilities. Dr. Zeisel also addressed the group of Edgewood employees and special guests praising them for their dedication to excellence in Alzheimer’s and dementia care and later signed copies of his book “I’m Still Here” one of several he has written on aging & well being.