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Best Friends Approach To Dementia Care

The Best Friends Daily Planner

The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care – Hosted by Era Living Memory Care

Virginia Bell, MSW and David Troxel, MPH

The Best Friends Daily Planner shows you how simple it is to be a Best Friend to a person with dementia each and every day. Organized around the Best Friends Dementia Bill of Rights, this handy and practical tool provides you with Best Friends guiding principles, activities, and reflection questions to support your caregiving each week.

Let Go Of Corrections

As long as health and safety arent at risk, it can be helpful to let it go when your loved one says the wrong name or year, mixes up details, or repeats the same questions. Constant correction is frustrating even for people with healthy cognitive abilities. For the person with dementia, it can raise levels of confusion and fearall of which can elevate the symptoms of dementia.

Recall Information From Their Past

One important part of the Best Friends Approach is the intimacy that comes from knowing that persons life story. It means that we can help them remember times of meaningful joy and success. This can be especially needed on days when theyre struggling or frustrated. And even if we dont know all of their history, we can employ what we do know about them to help them feel connected .

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Laugh Together Show Affection And Help Them Stay Connected

Always therapeutic, laughter relieves stress and helps strengthens connections. When youre with your loved one, make sure to tell jokes or funny stories in your life, and remind them of laughs theyve had in the past as well.

Affectionate touch, like hand squeezes and hugs, can also help loved ones with dementia feel safe, connected, and less alone. And when you cant be there in person, keep them feeling connected to you with consistent phone or video calls. Make sure theyre able to stay connected to others often, whether with in-person visits, community engagement, or phone and video calls. You might also help your loved one make a scrapbook of important events from their life, and ask one or two people who attended those events to join and reminisce.

The Best Friends Staff

The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care
Building a Culture of Care in Alzheimer Programs

Find out how to help your long-term care organization build a culture of care that improves the quality of life for clients and caregiving staff. Shows how staff can achieve better outcomes and more rewarding experiencesand your program can retain an effective, satisfied staff. With practical tips on recruiting and training a dementia-capable and talented staff, plus over 70 ready-to-use tools you can copy and use for staff training, family handouts, or newsletters and bulletin boards. Includes success stories from programs and dementia care consultants from around the world.

The Best Friends Staff is the best book I have ever read for these important staffers. Im convinced if all AD programs used this bookthe world would be a better place.

Susan Toth, Alzheimers Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter, Denver, Colorado

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Best Friends Approach When Caring For Those With Alzheimer’s And Memory Loss

Published: 2010-08-31Author: Virginia Bell and David Troxel, The Best Friends ApproachPeer-Reviewed Publication: N/AAdditional References:Library of Alzheimer’s Disease Publications

Synopsis:The Best Friends Approach seeks to make life better by adapting a philosophy that is not difficult or hard to understand. There is a quiet revolution taking place amongst caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and it’s really quite simple.

How To Be A Best Friend

Developed by Virginia Bell and David Troxel during the 1990s, the Best Friends approach is based on the notion that what a person with dementia needs most of all is a best friend: one who empathizes, remains loving and positive, and promotes the perspective and dignity of a person with dementia. Here are some examples of how you can incorporate strategies from the Best Friends Approach when communicating with loved ones who have Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia.

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Why Is The Best Friends Approach Effective

Most notably, this approach doesnt require a lot of time to be effective. It only takes a minute to actively engage a senior and reassure them that youre their friend. And, that you have their best interests as your top priority.

Best friends dont just report an issue they act on it and fix it. For example, a senior that works with Ohana Care has been working with care professionals to hone their medications. As a result, there was extra medication around the house that could potentially case a mixup. Our caregiver noticed this and realized that some had been mixed up. Of course, it would have been easy to just say this is not correct and leave it to someone else to fix. But, because we are their friend, we took the medication back to the pharmacist to sort through and dispose of the extra medication. Thus, the patient got the correct dosage for their treatment to be effective. Therefore, ensuring the best quality of life possible. Thats what a best friend does.

Diseases are difficult. Specifically, diseases such as dementia or Alzheimers that effect cognitive abilities. Because, this approach is about the person we are helping, not about the company or the caregivers agenda, it is effective. Of course, a best friend cares about advocating for the seniors best interests.

The Best Friends Approach To Dementia Care 2nd Edition Is Written By Virginia Bell And Published By Health Professions Press Inc The Digital And Etextbook Isbns For The Best Friends Approach To Dementia Care Are 9781938870637 1938870638 And The Print Isbns Are 9781932529968 1932529969 Save Up To 80% Versus Print By Going Digital With Vitalsource

Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care

The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care 2nd Edition is written by Virginia Bell and published by Health Professions Press, Inc.. The Digital and eTextbook ISBNs for The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care are 9781938870637, 1938870638 and the print ISBNs are 9781932529968, 1932529969. Save up to 80% versus print by going digital with VitalSource.

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About The Best Friends Approach

The Best Friends Approach was developed in the 1990s by Virginia Bell and David Troxel while they were working at the University of Kentucky Alzheimers Disease Research Center.

Virginia and David developed the Best Friends Approach based upon their experiences with persons with dementia, family members and adult day center care.

Simply put, they suggest that what a person with dementia needs most of all is a friend, a Best Friend. This can be a family member, friend, or staff member who empathizes with their situation, remains loving and positive, and is dedicated to helping the person feel safe, secure and valued.

The Best Friends Approach starts with seven basic building blocks that can help you learn to see persons with dementia differently and begin implementing a Best Friends Approach in your work:

1.Recognizing the basic rights of a person with dementia. Embracing the points in our Dementia Bill of Rights helps us see and acknowledge the person beneath the cloak of dementia, who deserves our best care and support and has the right to live with choice and dignity.

2.Understanding what its like to have dementia. Behaviors seem less strange or unreasonable when you understand that dementia impacts the brain. Understanding what its like to have dementia helps us develop empathy, become more accepting and patient, and better meet the needs of the person with compassion.


Taking The Best Friends Approach:

We learn their life stories. If heâs known for his love of hot sauce, we make sure itâs always at the table. If she used to boogie to country western music, weâll dance with her to her favorite hits. At our campus, who they are defines their experience, not the other way around.

We communicate in ways that work for them. We encourage connection with both non-verbal and verbal communication. Smiles, hugs, cues and compliments can go a long way. By offering our residents simple life choices and asking for their opinions, we help them feel valued and in charge of their own lives.

We use our activities as a time to connect. Whether weâre cooking a favorite recipe, enjoying music & art, exercising, spending time outdoors, watching videos or sharing stories, our goal is always the same: to enjoy one anotherâs company as best friends do.

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Best Friends Approach To Caregiving

When you find yourself caring for a person with dementia one of the hardest question to answer is Am I reaching them. Virginia Bell and David Troxel developed the Best Friends Approach in the 1980s to help answer this question. The Best Friends approach seeks to make life better by adapting a philosophy that is not difficult to understand. By applying the rules of friendship to the person living with memory loss, the relationship is allowed to take on a new definition and with it new understandings. The object is to share with caregivers an approach that is easy to understand, learn and apply every day. We have found with an emphasis on understanding a persons unique life story, caregivers are experiencing success with memory care patients, particularly through enhanced engagement.

When caring for a person with dementia use the language of friendship throughout your day. Rework job descriptions to emphasis the importance of relationships, during one on one time, let the person know that you appreciate the friendship. Using the phrase Best Friend and developing authentic relationships ultimately helps the person feel safe, secure and valued-and creates a caring community where all benefit.

What Is The Best Friends Approach

Best Friends Approach at Lincoln Home and Harbor View Cottage

It is exactly what it sounds like. The Best Friends Approach is giving a senior the opportunity to be supported by a trusted friend. When you think of your best friend, you think of that person that knows what you like, and what you dont. In addition, its the person that supports you through anything. And goes the extra mile to make sure you are taken care of.

All caregivers have the technical background to support this illness. However, caregivers that use this approach have a fundamental relationship with the senior. And, additional empathy for them. This enables the caregiver to provide the best care possible. Not only do they help with administering medical treatment, but they also provide emotional support and stability through this confusing phase.

The approach is based on seven building blocks developed by Virginia Bell and David Troxel. The building blocks are:

To learn more about these steps visit bestfriendsapproach.com.

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Ask For Their Opinions

Everyone wants to feel that theyre appreciated, and one important way to do this can be showing that you value their opinion in your own decisions. Remember to keep it simple: you can ask them whether they like the outfit that you have chosen for an important meeting or ask for their advice on which of two ties you should wear.

The Best Friends Approach To Dementia Care2nd Edition

  • $41.99USDSKU:9781938870637

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The Best Friends Book Of Alzheimers Activities Volume Two

Virginia Bell, MS., David Troxel, MPH, Robin Hamon, MSW, and Tonya Cox, MSW

149 more activities for persons with dementia that add meaning and enjoyment in adult day care centers, home care settings, or residential care facilities. Feedback and insights from persons with early dementia helped shape this collection, which also focuses on diversity and multiculturalism as well as the needs of younger patients. With a chapter on engaging in spiritual and religious activities and tips for adapting activities to people in the early and late stages of Alzheimers disease.

A Dignified Life Revised And Expanded

ADI 2022: The Virginia Bell 100th Birthday Symposium
The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care: A Guide for Care Partners

Virginia Bell, MSW, and David Troxel, MPH

More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimers disease or a related form of dementia. A Dignified Life, Revised and Expanded offers hope and help for the millions of family care partners who are affected by a loved ones diagnosis.

The first edition of A Dignified Life changed the way the caregiving community approached Alzheimers disease by showing care partners how to act as a Best Friend to the person, finding positive ways to interact even as mental abilities declined. Firmly grounded in the latest knowledge about the progression and treatment of dementia, this expanded edition offers a wealth of immediately usable tips and new problem-solving advice. It incorporates practical ideas for therapeutic activitiesincluding the latest brain-fitness exercisesthat stimulate the brain while adding structure, meaning, and context to daily routines. With new stories and examples as well as an updated resources section, A Dignified Life, Revised and Expanded gives care partners the support and advice they need to be successful and inspired in their demanding roles.

“Supportive and practical, offering a down-to-earth, comprehensive approach for providing care.”

Robert N. Butler, M.D., gerontologist, founding director of the National Institute on Aging, and Pulitzer-prizing winning author of Why Survive? Being Old in America

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Reviews For Best Friends Approach To Dementia Care Second Edition

  • Administrator August 15, 2016

    The Best Friends Approach, Second Edition, is a joy to read. It touched my heart. At the same time, it was practical, offering clear ways to implement all aspects of this extraordinary program. Being a Best Friend is so uncomplicated when you understand that this simply means you know the persons Life Story and the importance of the process for providing care, not just how to complete the task. This book should be must reading for care partners, both professional and family. So often, friends are not prepared to continue a relationship with someone with progressive memory loss, and sharing this book with them will help old friends continue to be Best Friends. Living with memory loss can be a very frightening journey, but when surrounded by Best Friends who help you continue to engage in life and continue to remind you that you are a very special person, the journey is not quite so frightening, and can still have many moments of joy.Joyce Simard, M.S.W.Author, The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia, Second EditionGeriatric Consultant and professional speakerAssociate Professor, Western Sydney University

  • Administrator August 15, 2016

    Best Friends is helping to establish ourselves as a center of excellence in dementia care throughout our region.Dan LavenderPresident and CEO, Moorings Park, Florida

  • The Best Friends Approach To Memory Care

    Older adults with memory concerns, including Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia, truly benefit from The Best Friends Approach. This approach to care was designed around the importance of relationships. Virginia Bell and David Troxel developed the Best Friends Approach to dementia care in the 1990s while they were working at the University of Kentucky Alzheimers Disease Research Center. They suggest what a person with dementia truly needs is a friend to walk with them on this journey while living with a difficult diagnosis. This Best Friend can be a family member, friend, or staff member who empathizes with their situation, remains loving and positive, and is dedicated to helping the person feel safe, secure and valued.

    At the heart of The Best Friends Approach is the understanding that relationships are the foundation of compassionate care. Personal relationships between the caregiver and care recipient are essential for us to touch the lives of those we serve, while focusing on the key elements of friendship: Respect, Empathy, Support, Trust and Humor. Its this friend who meets the resident where they are in the moment and celebrates each day alongside them with appropriate conversation and activities.

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    Dementia Bill Of Rights

    We are proud to endorse the Best Friends⢠Dementia Bill of Rights, which states:

    Every person with Alzheimerâs disease or other dementia deserves:

    • To be informed of oneâs diagnosis.
    • To have appropriate, ongoing medical care.
    • To be treated as an adult, listened to, and afforded respect for oneâs feelings and point of view.
    • To be with individuals who know oneâs life story, including cultural and spiritual traditions.
    • To experience meaningful engagement throughout the day.
    • To live in in a safe and stimulating environment.
    • To be outdoors on a regular basis.
    • To be free from psychotropic medications whenever possible.
    • To have welcomed physical contact, including hugging, caressing, and handholding.
    • To be an advocate for oneself and for others.
    • To be part of a local, global, or online community.
    • To have care partners well trained in dementia care.

    Upholding these rights for those we serve is both the purpose and the passion of every member of our team. Contact us today to learn more.

    Special Programs Built On Best Friends

    Pin on Alzheimer Books

    Create a special program featuring the Best Friends approach! In the U.S., Canada, and internationally, state-level agencies, Alzheimers Association chapters, and corporations providing care in a variety of settings have found that the use of this adaptable approach improves not only the quality of care for the people they serve but the efficacy and satisfaction of staff.

    Maybe youre a corporation that wants to adopt Best Friends company-wide, a small network of providers that wants shared access to Best Friends content on a closed company server, or a state or local agency organizing a regional training initiative to promote best practices. Learn more about the advantages of associating your organizations programming with the Best Friends brand.

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