Best Friends™ Daily Planner

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

ISBN 978-1-938870-30-9
128 pages
5.5 x 8.5 spiral
© 2014

(2 customer reviews)


The Best Friends™ Daily Planner shows you how simple it is to be a Best Friend to a person with dementia each and every day. This handy and practical book provides you with Best Friends guiding principles, activities, and reflection questions to support your caregiving each week.

  • Guiding Principles: Learn how to follow the Best Friends™ approach with these reminders and tips
  • Activities: Implement over 150 quick, easy, and surprising activities
  • Reflections: Record what works and what doesn’t—both for you and your Best Friend

The Best Friends™ Daily Planner can be used as an individual resource or with any of the many books in the world-renowned Best Friends™ product suite. Developed by dementia care experts Virginia Bell and David Troxel, Best Friends™ is a sensitive and sensible approach to dementia care based on the essential elements of friendship: respect, empathy, support, trust, and humor.

With ample space to record your thoughts and the reactions of the persons with dementia that you care for, this invaluable tool will guide you through the year and provide a record of your caregiving experiences in the years to come. Filled with easy-to-implement activities and reminders of the core tenets of the Best Friends™ model of care, this handy and practical book is completely customizable to meet your needs. Divided by months that highlight each of the 12 Best Friends Dementia Rights and labeled with dates that aren’t day-of-the-week specific, the planner gives you the flexibility to start at any point of the year!

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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 or on Facebook at 

2 reviews for Best Friends™ Daily Planner

  1. admin

    “The challenge of implementing any care delivery model is to make the concepts come alive in day-to-day interactions between staff and residents. The Best Friends™ Daily Planner is an excellent tool to help your caregivers make the most of their Best Friends training. The Planner connects the guiding principles of the program with practical activities. Most importantly the planner encourages caregivers to reflect on the impact their interactions both on the residents and on themselves. We’re excited to put this resource in the hands of the people who need it most—our front-line staff.”

    —Jean Summers, SVP ALF division Americare

  2. admin

    “The Best Friends™ Daily Planner is a wonderful tool! The practical tips given are great prompts to help a caregiver implement activities that appreciate their Best Friend’s Life Story and touch the heart of who they are. The best results of caring for an individual with dementia stems from staying in tune with the person’s likes, dislikes, spirituality, hobbies and more. This planner aids the caregiver in doing just that.”

    —Jamie Huff, QDCP, Community Outreach Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County, TX

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