Best Friends™ Approach to Staff Training

Speaker(s): Virginia Bell, M.S.W., David Troxel, M.P.H., Sarah Price, Melanie Sawatzky and Tonya M. Cox, M.S.W.

Training Description

Based on the acclaimed Best Friends™ model of care, this workshop will help your facility enhance the quality of its dementia care programs and develop an effective, satisfied staff. Presented by Alzheimer’s experts, this training approach si designed to help staff achieve better outcomes and more rewarding experiences.

Participants will learn:

  • ways to improve the quality of dementia care in your setting
  • effective tips for staff recruitment, development, and retention
  • inexpensive and easy-to-implement ways to transform your training programs
  • exercises and games for staff education
  • creative ideas for implementing culture change to create a “caring community”
  • methods to introduce a “Best Friends” philosophy in your care setting

Plus, the speakers will share inspirational stories from facilities worldwide that have successfully implemented the Best Friends™ approach.

Length of training:
1-3 day workshops

Number of participants:
This training can be customized for small or large groups

Who will benefit from this training:
Supervisors, managers, and administrators in adult day centers, assisted living facilities, in-home programs, and other long-term care settings

Training fee:
Email for pricing
What do fees include?

Virginia Bell, M.S.W., is a recognized pioneer in dementia care. Awarded Robert Wood Johnson funding to establish one of the first dementia-specific adult day programs, she went on to create Best Friends™ with David Troxel. Bell speaks internationally on Best Friends™ and is Program Consultant for the Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Alzheimer’s Association chapter.

David Troxel, M.P.H., a consultant on dementia for the long-term care industry and an accomplished trainer, has co-authored 5 books with Virginia Bell. Troxel is know worldwide for his writings and teachings in the fields of Alzheimer’s care, staff development, training, and culture change in long-term care.

Sarah Price has been an active member of the Alzheimer awareness community for 20 years. With a Bachelor of Applied Science in Family Studies—Gerontology from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Sarah has first-hand experience with many facets of dementia care provision. Sarah is the co-founder of the Canadian Coalition of Adult Day Services and currently sits on the board of directors of the National Adult Day Services Association. With an eagerness for building relationships at the Board, staff and community level, Sarah is passionate about advocating for the person with dementia and their family by providing education and support to those that care for them.

Melanie Sawatzky holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Social Work degree, and a Certificate in Adult Education. She was previously the Program Manager for the Dementia Care Training Centre at the Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary and is currently the Education Coordinator for ICOM Productions. She has collaborated with numerous organizations in the social work and human services fields.

Tonya Cox, M.S.W., Director of Home and Community Based Services at Christian Care Communities, Inc., began developing activities for persons with memory loss in 1995. Cox teaches and presents on activity programming and caring for persons with dementia. She is a co-author of 2 Best Friends™ books.

The Best Friends™ Approach to Staff Training is based on the books The Best Friends™ Staff: Building a Culture of Care in Alzheimer’s Programs and The Best Friends™ Approach to Alzheimer’s Care. Click below for more information.


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