Inspired Journeys: An Innovative Approach to Caring for Those with Memory-Loss

May 01, 2016

Nancy was a homemaker who loved baking chocolate cake. Richard was a doctor who enjoyed dancing to Frank Sinatra.

Nancy is still Nancy and Richard is still Richard. Yet they are struggling; struggling with a disease that is impacting their cognitive abilities. Richard and Nancy have Alzheimer’s disease. But their lives still have a purpose. Their gifts and talents still make them unique and the hobbies and activities that bring them joy can still be pursued.

Purposeful pursuits. That’s what Inspired Journeys—a program uniquely designed by a cross-functional team at Presby’s Inspired Life to support residents and their families impacted by memory loss—is all about.Inspired Journeys seeks to move beyond the dated standards of dementia care by providing a strong emphasis on positive behaviors while encouraging creativity and self-direction. Elements of the program include:

  • New approaches to food selection and preparation
  • The development and delivery of meaningful activities, such as music and gardening
  • Environmental enhancements to the settings where care is taking place

Education is another key component, not just for those who are direct caregivers, but for family members, supporting team and the community at-large. Currently, Inspired Journeys team members are working toward obtaining certifications from the Alzheimer’s Association that will enable them to become support group leaders as well as trainers for others who seek to learn best practices as it relates to dementia care. The long-term goal is to ensure that every Presby employee receives some level of dementia care training.

“The vision for Inspired Journeys is that this program will help elevate Presby’s Inspired Life as a trusted resource for all things dementia-related in the greater Philadelphia area,” says COO of Presby’s Inspired Life Tama Carey.
“Education is the first step to ensuring that vision becomes a reality.”

Nancy can still bake a mean chocolate cake and Richard can still dance to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”—they just need a little more help. That’s where Presby’s Inspired Life makes the difference.

“I want people who are struggling with dementia—and their families—to feel welcomed, respected and loved no matter where they are in our communities,”says Carey. “We are here to walk alongside them, every step of the way.”

That’s our promise. 


  • Currently, three of four Presby’s Inspired Life Communities—Rydal Park, Broomall and Spring Mill—have units dedicated to supporting those with dementia and its related disorders.
  • Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.*
  • Within the next 10 years, 19 states will see a 40 percent or greater growth in the number of people with Alzheimer’s. *

     *The Alzheimer’s Association