Best Friends™ Approach to Alzheimer’s Activities—Interactive Seminar

5 out of 5 based on 10 customer ratings
(10 customer reviews)

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

Seminar Description

This inspirational presentation teaches participants how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease using the groundbreaking Best Friends™ approach. Led by Alzheimer’s experts Virginia Bell and David Troxel, caregivers will learn to integrate the essential elements of friendship—respect, empathy, trust, and humor—into their care techniques.

Participants will leave this interactive seminar with:

  • communication and conversation tips
  • activities especially for men
  • suggested songs and musical tie-ins
  • intergenerational activities
  • ideas for unprogrammed times, including evenings

Seminar length:
1-3 day workshops

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

Who will benefit from this seminar:
Activity directors, managers, and direct care staff at adult day centers, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes; other caregivers of people with dementia

Seminar fee:
What do fees include?

Please email for more information.

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.

This interactive seminar is based off of the books, The Best Friends™ Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volumes 1 and 2, and The Best Friends™ Approach to Alzheimer’s Care. Click below for more details on each.

10 reviews for Best Friends™ Approach to Alzheimer’s Activities—Interactive Seminar

  1. 5 out of 5


    “Very relevant to our work, easy to use — we can all do it.”
    – Michelle Reid, Victoria Order of Nurses, Simcoe County Canada

  2. 5 out of 5


    “I strongly suggest that all of us who love someone with dementia study this book and feel some of what our loved ones are going through day after day after day—it will make us far more insightful and compassionate caregivers.”
    — Marie Marley in The Huffington Post

  3. 5 out of 5


    “innovative and refreshing due to the relaxed and natural ‘hands on’ approach – an empowering book that proves one can enjoy life after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.”
    -Aging & Society

  4. 5 out of 5


    “One of the first, and still one of my favorites [positive, uplifting books on Alzheimer’s disease]—easy to grasp and always respectful of the person with the disease.”
    -Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, Kathy Laurenhue, Director of Special Projects, Mather Institute on Aging

  5. 5 out of 5


    “For every friend, relative, or caregiver to a person with Alzheimer’s, [Best Friends] offers practical advice, compassion and optimism in understanding and dealing with the challenges they face each day and how to bring out the best in the person with the disease, so that a life that seems at times hopeless can be a life of love and dignity.”
    -Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul

  6. 5 out of 5


    “Virginia Bell and David Troxel … argue persuasively that the proper metaphor for organizing our thinking in this area is not the distant clinical reserve of the professional but the open and engaged warmth of a best friend… [They] have written powerfully about this in their book.”
    -William H. Thomas, M.D., founder, The Eden Alternative

  7. 5 out of 5


    “Here at last are two compassionate, humorous, experienced authors (David Troxel and Virginia Bell) who say it’s time to stop being morbid and negative about AD. …It’s the best training guide for families and professionals in print. A must for every Alzheimer’s library.”
    -Wiser Now

  8. 5 out of 5


    “The Best Friends philosophy has been adopted as a model through Maine and has become one of our most valuable caregiving resources. We’ve seen it in action and heartily recommend it!”
    -Eleanor Goldberg, Executive Director, Maine Alzheimer’s Association

  9. 5 out of 5


    “…a potential gold mine for afflicted families.”
    – Booklist

  10. 5 out of 5


    “[ Bell and Troxel] have laid out a way of relating that is immediately accessible to all involved in dementia and a policy and programme for service provision. Here is an initiative that is easy to understand and is within the immediate capacity of each of us to deliver.”
    -Journal of Dementia Care

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