The Best Friends Staff: Building a Culture of Care in Alzheimer's Programs By Virginia Bell, MSW, and David Troxel, MPH; 2001; Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press; 272 pages; soft cover, $32.95
The Best Friends Staff: Building a Culture of Care in Alzheimer's Programs is a comprehensive and innovative guideline for helping staff learn the "Best Friends Approach" to solve problems in Alzheimer's care. It encourages having sympathetic attitudes toward residents; improving communication skills; and making the care settings a consistently supportive, enjoyable, and secure dementia-friendly environment.
This book is filled with case studies describing more than 35 successful long-term care programs and improvements that the Best Friends Approach has brought. It describes key medical and research concepts related to dementia and assessment skills needed to care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease. The book includes training toolkits in each chapter that feature learning exercises, activities, games, and resources; verified advice on staff recruiting, training, and retention; and strategies to develop a partnership between family and staff.
This book will contribute to positive and creative changes in the culture of Alzheimer's disease care in the long-term setting. The introduction of the Best Friends Approach to Aîzheimer's disease care for family and professional caregivers, in 1997, has changed the world of Alzheimer's disease by introducing unique ways to view and solve the problems of caregiving for individuals with the disease.
This book is highly recommended for caregivers of residents with Alzheimer's disease in the longterm care settings, including program administrators, staff trainers, activities staff, clinical staff, volunteer coordinators, students, and family members.