Programs Built on Best Friends™
The positive impact and results of the Best Friends™ philosophy of care are universal and it has been successfully applied in many caregiving settings, from residential care (nursing homes, assisted living) to community programs (home care, adult day services), and a variety of specialized services including psychiatric health centers and end-of-life hospice care.
Introducing the Best Friends™ brand into an organization’s programming can augment the high quality of the organization’s offering, enhance outcomes for staff and families, and add to the attractiveness of the program for consumers. Across the U.S. and Canada, and even in other countries, state-level programs, health care agencies, and individual corporations have sought and been granted permission by Health Professions Press to create special programs featuring the Best Friends™ approach.
Briefly described below are examples of past and present ways in which respected programs have applied the Best Friends™ approach in their initiatives after entering into agreements with HPP.
Contact HPP if you are interested in licensing Best Friends™ products or services.
CCRCS & MULTI-LEVEL CARE SETTINGS
Implementation of the Best Friends™ approach for this Naples, Florida, CCRC began in 2013 with certification of a group of staff members as Best Friends™ Master Trainers, followed by formation of a Best Friends committee to work across the various levels of care. Focusing on monthly Best Friends themes, the team stayed accountable and focused on supporting staff through implementation. Now, “residents with dementia who weren’t participating in activities are more fully engaged, and staff report that behaviors have declined and cooperation and happiness have increased” (Celeste Lynch, former Director of Wellness). CARF-CCAC accredited, Moorings Park is the only A+ S&P and Fitch rated CCRC in the country.
NATIONAL & REGIONAL MEMORY CARE PROVIDERS
Elmcroft Senior Living
This provider of assisted living and memory care services in various U.S. locations licenses use of the Best Friends™ brand and trade and service marks and has earned permission to label all their Communities as “following the Best Friends™ Model of Care” in association with maintaining Best Friends™ Master Trainer certification among designated staff.
As a provider of assisting living and memory care services within its Assisted Living Facilities division, Americare is licensed to access the Best Friends brand and trade and service marks, participate in the Best Friends™ Master Trainer Certification program, and incorporate Best Friends practices throughout its Communities’ dementia care services, thereby entitling use of the designation “following the Best Friends™ Model of Care.” A customized evaluation tool, “The Americare Artifacts of Best Friends Approach,” helps support and assess the quality of all aspects of its dementia care program, making this care philosophy a great tool for achieving culture change and thereby a tangible point of difference for market success.
Touchmark Senior Living
In its ongoing commitment to the Best Friends™ model, this regional assisted living provider has coordinated with HPP to provide three on-site Best Friends™ Master Trainer certification courses for its staff over 5 years in order to put these life-affirming practices to work throughout their organization and ensure all Touchmark communities are certified Best Friends™ Environments. The core elements of the Best Friends™ approach are infused into the language, values, and practices of all Touchmark communities, and the approach is a defining feature distinguishing this care provider from its competitors.
The Plaza Assisted Living
Voted Hawaii’s Best Senior Living Facility for 3 years in a row (2014–2016), The Plaza began a new initiative for program improvements with consultative services from David Troxel in 2015, followed by on-site Best Friends™ Master Trainer certification courses in 2016 and 2018 for selected staff from its five communities. The Plaza also launched an enhanced memory care program, Hali’aSM [Celebrating Cherished Memories], based on the Best Friends™ model. At each of its communities, the “staff on the Hali’a neighborhood do more than take care of residents, they are Best Friends.”
American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) – now operating as Human Good
This nonprofit public benefit corporation has licensed use of Best Friends™ for internal staff training and programming in ABHOW’s memory support “Grove” communities. ABHOW has built Best Friends terminology into some of its job descriptions and even the job titles.
When ABHOW first sought CARF-CCAC accreditation in 2008, it partnered with David Troxel for guidance in the implementation of the Best Friends™ model of care so its Grove memory care units could secure accreditation in dementia care. ABHOW was the first multi-site company in the U.S. to seek such accreditation for a dementia care program. Its memory care units consistently earned some of the highest scores in the evaluation process.
Atria Senior Living Group
Customized adaptation of the Best Friends™ activities books was produced in collaboration with the Best Friends™ authors, HPP, and Atria Senior Living, a nationwide provider of independent and assisted living communities, for use in Atria’s Life Guidance neighborhoods in support of residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Under agreement with HPP, the content was subsequently transmitted into Atria’s intra-company network for shared access by all Life Guidance staff.
The Best Friends philosophy has been influential in the development of this Vancouver, Washington’s proprietary dementia care program, Expressions, begun in 2009 with consultation from Best Friends co-developer David Troxel. Hollie Fowler, Senior Director of Product and Brand Development, says that “The group process supported buy-in, fostered creativity, and allowed us to hit some key elements like Life Story out of the ballpark.” In 2012, Prestige won an ICAA (International Council on Active Aging) Innovators Award for their work in Expressions.
Lundbeck A/S (Pharmaceuticals), Australia
The Australian division of this global pharmaceutical company secured permission and purchased customized reprints of the Best Friends™ activity books (both volumes) to use as educational “premiums” for client distribution.
Alzheimer Society of Calgary, Canada
This is the first and longest-running authorized center in Canada for Best Friends™ training using licensed, adapted Best Friends™ training materials.
In a 2006 survey, the Society concluded: “Evaluation results demonstrate how the Best Friends™ Approach Associate Trainer Program achieved positive results toward effecting change within organizations concerned with improving the quality of life of people with dementia” and “100% of respondents stated that the Best Friends™ approach has improved the delivery of care to persons with dementia.”
Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association
This Association’s Professional Training Institute created a licensed 12-part staff training program using training materials adapted from Best Friends™ and co-created with the Best Friends™ developers.
State of Oregon
The state’s Senior & Disabled Services Division of the Department of Human Resources conducted a statewide initiative to train nursing home staff. It included premium book sales customized by HPP, permission to develop program-specific training manuals as adapted by the authors from the original Best Friends™ works, and merchandising rights to use the Best Friends™ logo.
State of Maine
In collaboration with the Maine Alzheimer’s Association, the state’s Office of Elder Services, Department of Health and Human Services, offered state-funded Best Friends training to nursing homes. The initiative was written into Maine’s State Plan on Aging, Additional licensing allowed for use of the Best Friends™ logo on staff clothing.
An evaluation study of Best Friends™ training in the state (2002) reported results from 23 of 25 pilot-site participants including: staff felt more comfortable communicating with residents with Alzheimer’s disease after training and reported that residents seemed less stressed; a number of facilities incorporated Best Friends™ principles into their orientation programs; pilot sites noticed a distinct difference in the positive way training participants interacted with residents compared to staff who did not take the training; and families felt more involved in the ongoing care of their loved one and appreciated that staff were looking for new ways to help.