Author: David Troxel

Six ways to be a Best Friend to family members and friends

Relationships between memory care community staff and family members or friends of residents with dementia can be challenging. How can the Best Friends™ Approach help you optimize those relationships? Try these six strategies. 1. Meet families and friends where they are When families come to your program, they may be emerging from years of stress around dementia. They might be in denial or experiencing anxiety, grief and loss as they… Read More »

Care strategies for FTD, frontotemporal lobe dementia

Imagine this new resident arriving at your memory care community or day center (or being supported in-home): a six-foot tall, 185-pound, 62-year-old man who is in great physical shape but has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD affects more men than women, typically between 55 and 65. Classically, FTD affects the areas of the brain that influence personality and behavior. Personality change (even more than memory loss) is the… Read More »

Dementia rights are human rights

Human Rights Day—celebrated December 10 each year—has us thinking about 1994, when we first thought about a Dementia Bill of Rights. Awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease was low. Awareness of the other dementias was non-existent. Stigma and fear were high! People were skeptical about our approach. Take care of someone with dementia by being a friend? Tell people with dementia about their diagnosis? Ridiculous! We needed a succinct summary of our… Read More »

scarves of different colors can spark a discussion among people with dementia

Do you like my tie? The power of asking for an opinion

The Best Friends™ Approach seeks to make people with dementia feel valued and important—connected to the world and, in spite of cognitive problems, able to make a difference. Asking a person with dementia for an opinion is an easy way to make that happen. When David Troxel’s mom Dorothy was living in a memory care community, he would bring her five ties and five dress shirts on hangars. “Mom, I… Read More »

Getting the Life Story into daily use

When we make friends our stories come out slowly. As we get to know one another, we learn each other’s favorite foods and songs, pastimes and passions. But persons with dementia, especially those who live in memory care, may not be able to recall or share their own stories. And their care partners may be juggling so many responsibilities that they don’t have the time to sit down and listen.… Read More »