Principles of the Non-pharmacological Approach

Key ‘I’m Still Here’ Principles

Programs funded by the Foundation respect the following I’m Still Here principles:

  • Engages the full person who is still here – with whatever challenges he/she faces
  • Engages the person’s skills and abilities, providing HOPE for care partners and persons living with dementia through positive experiences
  • Employs approaches, techniques, and methods that reduce the need for and dependence on medication
  • Maintains the individual within - and linked to - their community
  • Takes advantage of community resources
  • Is respectful of the person’s choices, wishes, and capacities
  • Reinforces the relationship between persons with dementia and their care partners
  • Invites persons with dementia living at home as well as in all other settings to participate
  • Includes all care partners in engagement programs in whatever way possible
  • Educates community partners in new ways of thinking about serving persons living with dementia


The Foundation is uniquely positioned to administer the ISH Innovation Fund owing to its extensive and successful history designing and implementing community engagement programs. With this history of success, the Foundation will support two types of programming initiatives:

  1. Innovative new programs that achieve goals similar to the Foundation’s previous internally developed and managed programs and fit within the Foundation’s larger mission, promoting personal and community engagement in creative and innovative ways.
  2. Programs that enhance and build on legacy ISH programs, recently named the Caulfield Programs in memory of Sean Caulfield who was critical to the development of the Foundation’s programs. Support will be made available to organizations with demonstrable financial need who propose improvements that advance outreach and implementation of the Foundation’s existing programs for persons living with dementia.

Program successes and positive innovations will be celebrated and shared publicly in an open source fashion to ensure maximum program impact.

The Foundation invites care partners, families, private and community groups and organizations to apply to ISH Innovation Fund for support. Each proposal will be screened and assessed by Board staff to ensure it meets ISH principles, creates a close link between program implementation and cognitive abilities of PLWD, is well planned and clearly targeted to needy populations, and that funding is optimized for direct impact. Programs receiving Foundation support will be applied to measuring systematic evidence-based feedback on their effectiveness.

Community Support

The Foundation aims to inspire community-based programs and practices targeting persons living with dementia through its support for innovation and adherence to ISH principles. Successful applicants will receive guidance on how to develop sustainable dementia-competent programs with wide impact, as well as expertise evaluating program outcomes.