Community is New England’s only Hearthstone-certified Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s and dementia care
Caring for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is never easy. Even harder is making the decision to have someone else care for them. It’s important to know they’ll be in good hands. Edgewood LifeCare Community in North Andover, MA, was recently certified by the Hearthstone Foundation as a Center of Excellence for the third year in a row. Edgewood is one of only ten Hearthstone-certified Centers of Excellence in the U.S., and the only one in New England.
According to its website, Hearthstone’s mission is to “create a life worth living for those with cognitive challenges by enriching lives and offering hope.” Hearthstone’s approach to care and treatment is “based on years of clinical experience and an understanding of the neuroscience of the brain.” At the core of its philosophy is reaching people through their deeply-etched emotional memories; focusing on the heart by creating positive, fulfilling experiences for residents; paying close attention to each resident’s health; and creating a supportive physical environment.
When Edgewood Life Care Community adopted the Hearthstone approach, every member of the staff — from directors and nurses to maintenance technicians — was trained in Hearthstone methods. Training is ongoing and, each year, the community goes through a review and inspection process to earn Center of Excellence certification — a goal they have achieved every year.
Betty Landy, a licensed social worker by profession, and a volunteer at Edgewood, observes, “People are treated with beautiful respect by all Edgewood staff. Their tone of voice is gentle and caring, and they respect each individual’s privacy.”
“I’ve heard from family members who say we really know how to connect with residents at a higher level,” says Heidi Moran, Director of Activities at Edgewood’s Meadows Health Center, where the program is located. “The training and tools help me find new ways to communicate with residents and help them succeed in their activities. Residents open up and are happier and more relaxed than they would be if we didn’t employ this philosophy.”
Landy adds, “The staff are very aware of each resident’s strengths. There may be a loss of memory in one area, but the staff will engage residents in areas where their strengths remain. With activities designed to take advantage of individuals’ strengths, residents can feel they have contributed to the activities and conversations.”
Edgewood’s Center of Excellence certification will remain in effect through 2016. To learn more about memory support services at Edgewood LifeCare Community, visit the website at EdgewoodRC.com.
Edgewood LifeCare Community (EdgewoodRC.com) is a non-profit Life Care Community offering Independent Living, Lifestyle Assistance, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Care on an 80-acre campus adjoining conservation land and Lake Cochichewick in North Andover, MA.
The Hearthstone Foundation is a Massachusetts-based, internationally recognized organization dedicated to making a difference for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive issues. For more information, visit TheHearth.org.