Los Mejores Amigos en el Cuidado de Alzheimer

By Virginia Bell, M.S.W., and David Troxel, M.P.H.

ISBN 978-1-932529-39-5
340 pages
5 5/8″ x 8 1/2″ papercover
© 2008


2015 National Mature Media Awards Winner logo

Read the Los Mejores Amigos en el Cuidado de Alzheimer Press Release (Comunicado de prensa) in English or Spanish.

Now available in Spanish, The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care is your guide to the groundbreaking and uplifting method for the care of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Discover the power of the essential elements of friendship: respect, empathy, support, trust, humor. These are the building blocks of a care model that’s both effective and flexible enough to adapt to each person’s remaining strengths and abilities. It’s easy. It’s natural. It works.

Learn how to ensure the highest quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease, not just by preventing catastrophic episodes but by making every day consistently reassuring, enjoyable, and secure.

This resource includes an introduction by Lilia Mendoza, founder of the Mexican Alzheimer’s Society.


Section I: About Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. The Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease Basics
  3. Assessing Remaining Strengths and Abilities

Section II: The Best Friends Model of Care

  1. An Alzheimer’s Disease Bill of Rights
  2. The Art of Friendship
  3. The Life Story
  4. The “Knack” of Alzheimer’s Care

Section III: The Best Friends Model in Action

  1. The Best Friends Approach to Communication
  2. The Best Friends Approach to Activities
  3. The Best Friends Approach at Home
  4. The Best Friends Approach in Adult Day Services
  5. The Best Friends Approach in Long-Term Care Facilities

Section IV: The Best Friends Model: A New Day

  1. Being One’s Own Best Friend
  2. Light Out of the Darkness

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Virginia BellVirginia Bell, M.S.W., was one of the most influential thought leaders in the field of dementia care over the last four decades, who continued right up to the time of her passing in 2023 to improve the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers. Her Best Friends™ model of dementia care transforms attitudes in care institutions and among families about a debilitating disease. An author, speaker, and advocate, her work has profoundly influenced the lives of untold individuals, and her Best Friends approach to dementia care continues to be adopted world-wide by care programs.

She lectured widely on Alzheimer’s disease at national and international conferences, speaking at the National Education Conferences of the Alzheimer’s Association and lecturing at the conferences of Alzheimer’s Disease International. She has published journal articles and book chapters, notably in Dementia Care: Patient, Family and Community (John Hopkins, 1989). Many of her articles have been reprinted numerous times: “The Alzheimer’s Disease Bill of Rights” (1994), “The Other Face of Alzheimer’s Disease” (1999) and “Spirituality and the Person with Dementia” (2001), co-authored with David Troxel and published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and in Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly. She has also co-authored six books with David Troxel, beginning with The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Kentucky in 1982.

David TroxelBased in northern California, David Troxel, M.P.H., is nationally and internationally known for his expertise in the fields of dementia & long-term care. He has co-authored (with Virginia Bell) six influential books, including his newest book, and written numerous articles relating to dementia care and staff development and training. He is a writer, trainer, and long-term care consultant who has spoken at over 500 conferences including keynote presentations at various U.S., Canadian, and international conferences. He served for a decade as the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara (California) Alzheimer’s Association (1994-2004). He also helped support his mother, Dorothy, in her 10-year journey living with Alzheimer’s disease. David’s areas of expertise include best care practices for persons with dementia, caregiver support, staff training, and long-term care program development. More information about David’s work can be found on his website at www.bestfriendsapproach.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bestfriendsapproach. 


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