Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume Two

By Virginia Bell, M.S.W., David Troxel, M.P.H., Tonya Cox, M.S.W., L.N.H.A., and Robin Hamon, M.S.W.

ISBN 978-1-932529-26-5
248 pages
8.5 x 11 papercover
© 2008

(5 customer reviews)


Expand and enrich your Best Friends activity programming with 149 all-new activities for individuals with dementia. Like the first book, this collection of fun and easy activities will add both meaning and enjoyment to the activities at your adult day center, home care setting, or residential care facility.

Feedback and insights from individuals with early-stage dementia helped shape this new collection, as well as activity suggestions from national and international dementia programs. As a result, the activities include a new focus on diversity and multiculturalism. Also featured are topics to interest to participants in their 50s and 60s, such as the Internet, advocacy, and community service.

Participants, staff, and family members will enjoy fresh ideas for creative art projects, interactive games, and evening activities. New themes to explore in Volume 2 include activities related to the kitchen and food, life story sharing and reminiscence, religious and spiritual traditions, and wellness. Adaptations for people in the early and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, preventive measures to avoid unwanted surprises, and conversation tips make these activities particularly versatile.

Use this resource to extend the benefits you already enjoy from the Best Friends programming or discover for the first time how this groundbreaking approach can transform activities and daily interactions.

Activity Grid

  1. Celebrating the Moment
  2. Honoring the Life Story
  3. Religious and Spiritual Traditions
  4. Wellness
  5. Adult Education
  6. Let’s Create
  7. In the Kitchen
  8. Games and Active Things to Do
  9. In the Evening
  10. Community Spirit

Resources for Activities Professionals

The Best Friends Book of Al… by on Scribd

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 or on Facebook at 

Tonya CoxWith a long history of supporting Best Friends™ approaches in dementia care, Tonya M. Cox, M.S.W., L.N.H.A., currently ensures that training and implementation of Best Friends™ practices are maintained across all care settings for the regional Kentucky-based operator Christian Care Communities in her role as Vice President of Operations. She notably blended the Best Friends approach into a Green House® site as the former Executive Director for The Homeplace at Midway. And before that was Director of Community Based Services for Christian Care, which included overseeing the original Best Friends™ Adult Day Center in Lexington, Kentucky. For more than 15 years Tonya has been developing programs and services for persons with dementia and their caregivers, including working on national curriculum development for professional caregivers in various care settings and serving as Vice President for Mission and Service for the Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Tonya presents locally and nationally on activity programming and dementia care. She is a co-author on three of the Best Friends™ books, and contributed to The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care, Second Edition, with Virginia Bell and David Troxel. She has served as co-chair of the Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Council and is a practicum supervisor for both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. Tonya is also Adjunct Professor at Midway University in their Health Care Administration Program.

Robin Hamon, M.S.W., is a Family Support Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Kentucky Sanders Brown Center on Aging. During her tenure as program manager for the Helping Hand Day Center, she developed a creative arts training program for staff and volunteers working with persons with dementia. Hamon is co-author of the two Best Friends™ activity books.

5 reviews for Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume Two

  1. admin

    “The art in moving Best Friends from philosophy to practice lies in providing consistent and meaningful opportunities for engagement and relationship building.The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Vol. 2, gives each of us, as caregivers, the vehicle to continually foster great relationships of trust while delivering great programming and activity ideas.”
    —Gerald L. Jackson, Director of Program and Staff Development, Elmcroft Senior Living

  2. admin

    “This book of activities provides wonderful ideas to prevent behaviors—such as hitting—from occurring because of boredom, and it provides a richness to quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s disease. At the end of the day, when you look at the moments of joy the activities in this book provide, you find that the residents have had a great day filled with multiple successes.”
    —Linda Nickolisen, Executive Director, Prestige Senior Living at Manteca

  3. admin

    “Discovering the Best Friends approach and bringing it to our care community was life changing. For any professional or family member who feels lost in the Alzheimer’s journey, this new book is a valuable road map, complete with step-by-step directions to achieving excellence in dementia care.”
    —Jill Hess, LMSW, ACSW, Former VP of Organizational Development and Memory Care, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo
    —Ann Richards, RN, Community Director, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo

  4. admin

    “Our caregivers embrace the Best Friends™ philosophy every day, knowing that good care is about relationships and doing creative things together. This new book offers hundreds of life-affirming, creative ideas that family and professional caregivers can use at home. Highly recommended!”
    –Buck Shaw, Home Instead Senior Care, Sacramento CA

  5. admin

    “Like The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume One this collection of activities will add both meaning and enjoyment. The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume Two is extremely helpful, and a book that you will reference often. Individuals with dementia, staff, and family members will enjoy the fresh ideas for creative art projects, interactive games, and evening activities …”
    –Creative Forecasting® Magazine

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *