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About us Best Friends philosophy

The Best Friends™ philosophy

A philosophy of person-centered care

At the Alzheimer Society of Calgary, our programs and services are founded on the Best Friends Approach™ philosophy of care. This is a model of care for people with dementia emphasizing empathy and friendship and is based on books written by two experts in the field of dementia research (Virginia Bell and David Troxel).

Our staff members are thoroughly trained in the Best Friends Approach™ as it aligns with our guiding principle of person-centered care. This means we put the needs and interests of the person living with dementia first.

We uphold the beliefs outlined in the Best Friends Approach™

At the Alzheimer Society of Calgary, we believe that every person diagnosed with dementia has the right:

  • To be treated as an individual, with dignity and respect
  • To be informed of one’s diagnosis
  • To have appropriate, ongoing assessments and medical care
  • To live in an environment designed for an individual’s abilities and interests
  • To be involved in work and play for as long as possible
  • To be outdoors on a regular basis
  • To have physical contact including hand holding and hugging, based on individual comfort and needs
  • To be with people who know and understand one’s life story, including family, cultural and religious traditions
  • To be cared for by individuals willing to participate in ongoing training in dementia care

If you have questions, please contact us

The Best Friends Approach™ is available for your personal use. You may access copies of the books in a number of ways:

  • contact the Alzheimer Society of Calgary’s main office and ask to borrow them
  • visit the public library branch closest to you
  • find them for purchase online or at your local bookstore