The Best Friends™ Approach to Memory Care

Older adults with memory concerns, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, truly benefit from The Best Friends™ Approach. This approach to care was designed around the importance of relationships. Virginia Bell and David Troxel developed the Best Friends™ Approach to dementia care in the 1990’s while they were working at the University of Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. They suggest what a person with dementia truly needs is a friend to walk with them on this journey while living with a difficult diagnosis. This ‘Best Friend’ can be a family member, friend, or staff member who empathizes with their situation, remains loving and positive, and is dedicated to helping the person feel safe, secure and valued.

At the heart of The Best Friends™ Approach is the understanding that relationships are the foundation of compassionate care. Personal relationships between the caregiver and care recipient are essential for us to touch the lives of those we serve, while focusing on the key elements of friendship: Respect, Empathy, Support, Trust and Humor. It’s this friend who meets the resident where they are in the moment and celebrates each day alongside them with appropriate conversation and activities.

Caring for a loved one at home with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be a difficult journey. One of the toughest events on this journey is making the decision to move a loved one into a senior care community that is better equipped to enhance their life. In later stages of the disease, caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s at home can become too demanding. Family caregivers must respect their personal limits, recognize serious changes in their loved one’s condition, and learn about alternate memory care options that may be more appropriate as needs increase.

At Christian Care Communities, exceptional care begins with learning, respecting and honoring a person’s Life Story. In our safe memory care ‘neighborhoods’, we use The Best Friends™ Approach to care in everything we do. This model of care makes our communities very special places. Our highly trained staff understands each resident’s Life Story, preferences, likes, dislikes, individual abilities, and challenges. This helps us provide personalized care that builds trust and forms strong supportive relationships.

The Best Friends™ Approach is completely person-centered, as no two people are alike in their memory care needs. Days at our communities that offer Memory Care are full of activities that keep residents physically, mentally and socially engaged. Our staff get to know each residents Life Story very well in order to emphasize their strengths and abilities. By doing so, we are able to encourage participation in individualized activities such as those related to a resident’s past interests and skills. For example, we have residents who always had a garden, so we provide plenty of opportunities to revisit that love of tending to a garden. Some residents are mothers and they enjoying nurturing and caring for lifelike baby dolls in a nursery setting. And we have residents who enjoy virtual activities that help them recall their careers as a musician, pilot, teacher, and pastor.

At Christian Care Communities, we provide our residents with the support they need to live life to the fullest. By using the Best Friends™ Approach, we redefine how we can enhance the lives of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. To find a community that offers Memory Care, please visit or simply dial 502.254.4200.

Skip to content