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Reviews


David was very knowledgeable on the topic of dementia and had lots of great ideas on how to work with residents and improve their quality of life. A lot of great ideas that can improve anyone's program.
Sonia Ross, Social Work, The Village of Rockville
Everything about it was great! One of the best training sessions I’ve attended.
Angela B., Carefor–Carling Adult Day Program (Ottawa, Ontario)
Great speaker. She shared lots of relatable information and examples of the approach in use.
Sheryl Giberson, Program Coordinator, Carefor Eastern Counties
I am so thankful for being a part of the Best Friends organization as a Master Trainer, it is truly a privilege and an honor.
Patricia Gomulinski, RN, MDS Nurse, Evangelical Homes
I think it is the best program out there to help staff and families understand dementia.
Barbara Smardz, RN, BF-CMT, Administrator, Moorings Park
I love how the program not only benefits the residents, but also the staff and families.
Misty Miller, BF-CMT, Vice President of Clinical Services, Seniority, Inc.
I really liked learning from the experts AND meeting with peers (who are also experts). The organization of the training was excellent!
Cassandra Chadwick, Activity Director, Casas Adobes Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center
The concept of being a best friend is easy for all to understand. The Institute brings that concept to life in how it can be applied in caring for dementia clients or residents.
Carol White, Owner, Home Care Assistance of Prescott, AZ
Excellent, useful training! This is a practical, real world training that prepares you to return to the team and help them help your residents.
Barbara Calderone, VP of Risk Management & Education, Episcopal Communities and Services
It gave me great ideas of how to teach other staff when I get my plan rolled out. I wish all staff could go through the two days!
Anne-Marie Fitz, Life Enrichment/Wellness Director, Touchmark at Harwood Groves
Best Friends is the Tesla of dementia care.
Karri Thurman, BF-CMT, Regional Nurse Consultant, Americare
This training absolutely gave me more confidence in using and teaching the approach!
Ashley Moore, Social Services and Memory Care Coordinator, Christian Care Communities
The Best Friends Institute is a fabulous training for memory care leaders! I am excited to share this with my company.
Clare Travis, Divisional Director of Life Enrichment & Memory Care, Trilogy Senior Living
I recommend the Best Friends Institute to everyone because the world needs to be better educated about the best ways to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s/dementia. I loved the great ideas and experiences shared by everyone!
Matthew Byerley, Heartland Village Leader, Elmcroft of Xenia
An informative and interesting training. I enjoyed getting to learn with other professionals and develop my skills as a trainer.
Wendy Livengood, Regional Director of Operations, Elmcroft Senior Living
It [Best Friends Institute] gave me a feeling of empowerment and a sense of belonging. Best Friends offers a way of looking at dementia care that people can relate to on an intimate and daily basis.
Michelle Avdienko, Touchmark at Fairway Village
I liked the informative, practical, economical information. I definitely recommend the Best Friends Institute. I can foresee and am excited by the improved programming and training that will result and all the positive outcomes.
Liane Higa, Administrator, The Plaza
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 (on The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume Two)
A ‘grab and go’ book that was written to assist an activity director to take an everyday activity and turn it into something creative and meaningful. [The book] presents activity principles which are essential in developing programs that are appropriate and creative in maintaining dignity and quality of life.
The Director (on The Best Friends Approach To Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume One)
a wonderful resource … very practical for staff, volunteers, and family members. This book will be one of your most-used references.
Creative Forecasting® Magazine (on The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume One)
a valuable addition to any day centre or care home wanting to develop understanding of activity as being much more than providing entertainment and outings.
Journal of Dementia Care (on The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume One)
…a potential gold mine for afflicted families.
Booklist (on The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care)
[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 (on The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care)
Here at last are two compassionate, humorous, experience authors [Bell and Troxel] 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.
Wisner Now (on The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care)
One of the first [positive, uplifting books on Alzheimer’s disease], and still one of my favorites … easy to grasp and always respectful of the person with the disease.
Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly (on The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care)
“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 (on The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care)
Thousands of families have read this book. By putting into practice what they learned, they have discovered that much can be done to improve the lives of their loved ones.
Lilia Mendoza, Founder, Federación Mexicana de Alzheimer
As a neurologist, I dream about the day that we will find a cure of Alzheimer’s disease. Until that time, the Best Friends approach is here t give families practical tools for bringing out the best in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. This is a well-written, insightful book that gives caregivers a life-affirming, practical framework for approach this difficult disease. I recommend it to my patients and their families.
Donna Masterman, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor, Neurology UCLA Medical Center, Clinical Core Director of the UCLA Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Caregivers can easily become overwhelmed by the daily challenges facing them. The Best Friends approach will give you simple, easy to learn tools that can make the most daunting problems seem easier to cope with. I highly recommend this book.
Elaine St. James, Author of the international book series, Simplify Your Life
A must read for all those who care for people with dementia. A Dignified Life is well written, packed with effective and practical advice, and full of humanity. It shows that there is much that can be done to help make the lives of both caregivers and people with dementia better and more fulfilling. I give it a 5-star rating.
David Snowdon, Ph.D., Author of Aging with Grace and Director of the Nun Study
Embracing the activity principles in the Best Friends model has helped us to capture the very essence of how activity programming should be for person-centered care. Our residents and staff have responded so positively to the Best Friends program that we have made Best Friends our road map to achieving excellence in dementia care.
Jill Hess, L.M.S.W., A.C.S.W., former Vice President, Organizational Development, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, MI
The Best Friends™ philosophy … has been adopted as a model throughout Maine and has become one of our most valuable caregiving resources. We’ve seen it in action heartily recommend!
Eleanor Goldberg, past Executive Director, Maine Alzheimer’s Association
Virginia Bell and David Troxel are leaders in the field of aging. Their words will offer caregivers new ideas and new hope as they face the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Gloria H. Cavanaugh, former President & CEO, American Society on Aging
Our caregivers embrace the Best Friends™ philosophy every day, knowing that good care is about relationships and doing creative things together.
Wendy Lustbader, M.S.W., author of Counting on Kindness: The Dilemmas of Dependency
I recommend the Best Friends approach to all my support group members. It’s so easy to understand and implement. The book is a great daily reference and a ‘caregiver bible’ that everyone should have.
Rose Mary Jacobson, Community Outreach Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter, Las Vegas, NV
The Best Friends book is my ‘go to’ resource for helping families and professionals caring for persons with dementia… [It] can turn around behaviors that are challenging, support good communication, and help care partners create a successful day.
Elizabeth Edgerly, Ph.D., chief program officer, Northern CA & Northern NV Alzheimer’s Association
Using the Best Friends approach… caregivers are provided with a wide range of practical tools and strategies for how to deal with the many challenges of coping with this difficult disease.
Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Age Wave
Bell and 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
The interaction, the humor, sharing, and overall ‘comfort’ of the conference was tremendous! I learned so much!
Nicole Francis, Divisional Director of Life Guidance Operations, Atria Senior Living
Great overall educational opportunity and access to experts. I liked just getting new ideas and being energized.
Lisa Hutchins, Divisional Director Life Guidance Operations, Atria Senior Living
I enjoyed that we were taught ideas and tactics to teach staff. It was lighthearted and fun—a great learning experience!
Anne Peterson, Activity Director, Good Shepherd Services
The level of leadership and talent that was available to meet and discuss ideas with was very enjoyable.
Kristy Redman, Executive Director/Owner, Prestige Estates Assisted Living & Memory Care
I think it helps demystify dementia care and activities and implements a more common sense/relational/real approach.
Michael Ciecierski, Senior Life Guidance Director, Atria Senior Living
Well organized and ‘user friendly’ for individuals to grasp material and to instruct others on concepts. The philosophy is able to address all cultures with the approach we all long for—to be treated with dignity and honor.
Barbara Kouba, Landsun Homes
It was very well organized and thought out. I liked being provided with words, ways, and examples to explain this ‘common sense’ approach. Prepares you to teach and lead.
Joseph Amend-Marshall, Director of Admissions and Social Services, Friendship Village of Bloomington/Lifespace Communities, Inc.
The Best Friends Approach has truly been the best approach with all of our residents. The main tenets hold true and we teach and expect staff to honor and respect these.
Terry George, Director of Operations, Veritas InCare
It’s an awesome program that can be used for everyone, not just dementia. The interaction among the group was very helpful and provided different methods of applying the Best Friends approach.
Franna Marszalek, Director of Life Enrichment, Pathway Senior Living
I would recommend Best Friends Master Trainer instruction to all professionals that are committed to excellence in dementia training and education.
Michelle Horazdorsky, Director of Life Enrichment and Community Integration, Evangelical Homes of Michigan
The knowledge and practical advice of each instructor is just what the dementia care community need to make a big difference in small ways.
Kelly T. Fogg, Regional Engage Life Program Director, Atria Senior Living
It is without a doubt the most advanced and most human program a community may adopt for the people they serve.
Abby Pettit, Life Enrichment Coordinator, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo
Takes focus off clinical approach and allows staff to engage socially and spiritually on a deeper and more meaningful level.
Jennifer Benner, Director of Operations, Las Villas Del Norte SeniorCare
Best training of 20 years in nursing!
Jerry Poluka, Heartland Village Leader, Elmcroft Senior Living
A great training—the best I’ve been to. The trainers are well educated and send you home with excitement to roll out this approach as soon as you get back to work.
Tracy Plonsky, LSW, Friendship Village of Bloomington
Very relevant to our work, easy to use—we can all do it.
Michelle Reid, Sincoe County
[David] has real hands-on experience in both the field and his personal life and was easy to relate to as a result.
Allison Fletcher, Victoria Order of Nurses
This is one of the best learning experiences I have been able to attend.
Jennifer Willis, Regional Nurse Consultant, Americare
A game changer for those caring for persons with dementia.
Scott Tame, Regional Director of Operations, SeniorCare
Virginia and Tonya left me wanting more! Their vast knowledge was inspiring…Tonya is now on my (short) list of teachers who have influenced me.
Melody Malec, Immanuel Communities
I liked the humor and the reality…I learned a great deal.
Jennifer Garner, R.N., Director of Health & Wellness, Leisure Care
Interactive, open environment… This is a great training experience.
Margaret Moody, Program Associate, Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter
I recommend the Best Friends approach to all my support group members. It’s so easy to understand and implement. The book is a great daily reference and a ‘caregiver bible’ that everyone should have.
Rose Mary Jacobson, Community Outreach Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter, Las Vegas, NV
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 (on The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care)
An outstanding guide for anyone involved in the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The Best Friends™ method is an innovative, sensitive and unique approach that can greatly improve the quality of life for patients with the most devastating disease known to man.
William R. Markesbery, M.D., past director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky
Virginia and David are so passionate and intelligent. Very inspiring… It reminds me why I love my ‘calling’ [of] dementia care.
Jami Schnell, R.N., B.S.N., Health/Wellness Dir., Leisure Care, Mackenzie Place Asst’d Living
From start to finish perfect! …David was validating, passionate, and extremely knowledgeable!