The Best Friends Approachâ„¢


It’s about putting people first.

At the Alzheimer Society of Calgary's Club 36 Adult Day Program, we provide care founded in the Best Friends Approach™. This is a model of care specifically for people with dementia that emphasizes empathy and friendship.

Best Friends™ originated from the research and writing of 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 principles of person-centred care.

The Alzheimer Society of Calgary upholds the Best Friends Approach™ principles, beliefs and practices, that every person with dementia has the right:

  • To be treated as an individual, with dignity and respect
  • To be in an environment designed for their own 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 their own  comfort levels and needs
  • To be with people who know and understand their life story, including family, cultural and religious traditions
  • To be cared for by people actively pursuing ongoing training in dementia care.

Learn more about the Best Friends Approach™

Find out how you can adopt Best Friends™ practices or learn how we apply them to the Club 36 Adult Day Program.

Contact us

What makes the Best Friends Approach™ unique?

Best Friends™ is a  care philosophy that puts relationships first focusing on respect, empathy, support, trust and humour.  

Many who have used (and now endorse) the approach often find that it improves the quality of care for the people they serve and the working environment for staff.

Interested in the book?


Note: The Alzheimer Society of Calgary does not receive proceeds from Best Friends Approach™ book sales.


Further Information
Video: Despite the diagnosis, Kim and Harold still found ways to maintain quality of life thanks to the support from the Alzheimer Society of Calgary and Club 36.