“Alzeimer’s doesn’t take away memory, your memories are all in there. The part of the brain that’s damaged is the part that gives you access to memory. It’s as if you put the memories in the glove compartment and you lost the key and the art unlocked it.”

– John Zeisel

“Alzeimer’s doesn’t take away memory, your memories are all in there. The part of the brain that’s damaged is the part that gives you access to memory. It’s as if you put the memories in the glove compartment and you lost the key and the art unlocked it.”

– John Zeisel

DR. JOHN ZEISEL

Dr. John Zeisel is Founder and Emeritus Board Member of the I’m Still Here Foundation, which was established in 1996 with donations from families and donors who benefitted from and committed to advancing nonpharmacological (eco-psycho-social) methods and interventions for persons living with dementia.

His groundbreaking book I’m Still Here: A new philosophy of Alzheimer’s care, Penguin/Avery Books (2010), available in several languages (including Chinese, in 2021), identifies the 10 Principles of ‘I’m Still Here’. The book describes neuroscience evidence for this approach, along with the major underlying social shift necessary for its acceptance.  This shift requires replacing the public narrative of Despair with that of Hope – the acknowledgment that each of us can make a positive difference in the wellbeing of persons with dementia by the way we communicate, engage and relate to those living with this condition.

Among the I’m Still Here Foundation programs that John Zeisel pioneered, and is most proud of, are its Meet me at the Museum Program first implemented at MoMA in NYC, the long-running Meet Me at the Movies programs, the Learning for Life Academy, and It Takes a Village.

John received his PhD in Sociology from Columbia University, a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and an Honorary Doctorate from Salford University.  He has served on the faculty at Yale University, McGill University, Harvard Architecture School, University of Minnesota, and Salford University in the U.K., as well as Sorbonne University in Paris. His environment-behavior (E-B) research methodology textbook Inquiry by Design: Environment / Behavior / Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, & Planning (W. W. Norton, 2006) is widely used in university courses.

John’s work has received numerous awards and citations from prestigious organizations, including Progressive Architecture, National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities, American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders, and the Environmental Design Research Association’s  Career Award.  John has served on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, and is presently on the Boards of the Kim & Glen Campbell Foundation, whose mission is Music as Medicine, and of Abe’s Garden in Nashville, TN.

Articles by and about Dr. Zeisel have appeared in the Times of London, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Gerontologist, Harvard Magazine, O: Oprah Magazine, Landscape Architecture, Retirement Housing Reporter, the Wall Street Journal, Banker and Tradesman, AARP Bulletin, Progressive Architecture, Contract magazine, the NAHB News, Professional Builder, and Generations.