Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care

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The Home Instead Senior Care network’s free Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging; Through Research and Education Training Program incorporates best practices in dementia care including the “The  Best Friends Approach  to Alzheimer’s Care,” written by David Troxel together with Virginia Bell.

The book describes the importance of relationships in quality dementia  care, a  concept that is integrated throughout the Home Instead Senior Care network’s program –  a key way to build relationships. According to Troxel, is to know and use an individual’s life story  to deliver outstanding care and to treat the person with dementia with dignity and respect, like you would a “best friend:’

“Every caregiver should know 100 things about the person  in his or her care,” noted Troxel, who served on the expert panel to develop CARE content. ”For instance, my mother was Canadian and loved Earl Grey tea with milk. When Mom developed Alzheimer’s disease and was having a bad day, I’d say: ‘How about I  make you a nice cup of Earl Grey tea just the way you like it’.  And she would smile and it would turn a bad day into a good day.”

The new Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE Training Program encourages family caregivers to develop strategies to bring out the best in persons with dementia. When the person with Alzheimer’s disease feels safe, secure and valued, everything will likely go better.  Thus the family caregiver takes a walk with  the loved one, enjoy looking at a family photo album, prepare some  blueberry  muffins; all while taking time each day to help the person dress, bathe, eat a healthy meal or perform other important daily activities.

Persons with Alzheimer’s might forget who you are, but when you approach  them with confidence and competence they will respond. “Troxel said. Examples include Starting the day with a nice compliment  ( look handsome in that blue sweater)  and using their life story to talk with them.)

Home Instead Senior Care provides CARE services and family support for those affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias. To learn more about our Alzheimer’s support programs, please give us a call at 905- 276-2273.

Home Care Mississauga helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Please call 905- 276-2273.


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