The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care, Revised 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1878812353
ISBN-10: 1878812351
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The best Alzheimer's caregivers, say Bell and Troxel, become friends with the knack for calmly directing sufferers through their frightening confusion. Responding with the knack guides a patient to acceptable behavior while providing "cuing about roles and identities." For instance, to a patient's inappropriate sexual advance toward his daughter, a "no-knack approach" would be to angrily respond, "You dirty old man! Stop that" ; one with the knack would be, "Daddy, it's Mary, your daughter. Look what I have here--a photograph of Mother. Isn't she pretty?" The responses suggested for other situations are similar. Bell and Troxel stress that Alzheimer's victims are usually confused, not malevolent or willful, and compassion and indulgence will keep situations from worsening and enhance peace of mind for caregiver and patient alike. This approach is time and energy intensive, but its decency makes the book a potential gold mine for afflicted families. The fill-in-the-blanks "Best Friends Assessment" form, however, makes the book problematic for libraries. Mike Tribby


"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 2001-01-01)

“One of the first, and still one of my favorites [positive, uplifting books on Alzheimer’s disease]…easy to grasp and always respectful of the person with the disease.” (Kathy Laurenhue, Director of Special Projects, Mather Institute on Aging Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly 2001-01-01)

“For every friend, relative, or caregiver to a person with Alzheimer’s, [Best Friends] offers practical advice, compassion and optimism in understanding and dealing with the challenges they face each day and how to bring out the best in the person with the disease, so that a life that seems at times hopeless can be a life of love and dignity.” (Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul 2001-01-01)

“Virginia Bell and David 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, founder, The Eden Alternative 2001-01-01)

“Here at last are two compassionate, humorous, experienced authors (David Troxel and Virginia Bell) 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. A must for every Alzheimer’s library.” (Wiser Now 2001-01-01)

“The Best Friends philosophy … has been adopted as a model through Maine and has become one of our most valuable caregiving resources. We’ve seen it in action and heartily recommend it!” (Eleanor Goldberg, Executive Director, Maine Alzheimer’s Association 2001-01-01)

“...a potential gold mine for afflicted families.” (Booklist 2001-01-01)

“[ 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 2001-01-01)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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