By Staff Blogger/November, 2017

With all of its pleasures, the holiday season can also be a time of loss and stress for families and individuals who are dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, there are ways to make the holidays a memorable and enjoyable season for all.

David Troxel, an internationally known expert and speaker on dementia care best known for his book, “Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care,” joined us in Orange County last week where he spoke about ways to apply his Best Friend’s Approach to the holidays. Family caregivers, nurses, and senior-care facility employees from across the county were present. This event was sponsored by Alzheimer’s Orange County, Laguna Country Methodist Church, Atria, CNS, Attentive Care, and Optimal Senior Care Solutions.

This approach is based on one simple premise: people with Alzheimer’s need a “best friend”. In his books and workbooks, David teaches caregivers how to understand and fulfill the “best friends” role to turn the holiday season into a time of joy and hope.

Troxel emphasizes the importance of developing an affectionate relationship with the person with memory loss by making them feel important and respected. This relationship can be built through many different gestures such as doing activities together, going outdoors together, giving compliments, and asking for the other person’s opinion. Other remedial activities for people with Alzheimer’s may include listening to music, exercising, and doing artwork together with their caretaker.

Through proper planning and with the help of Alzheimer’s Orange County’s free care and support services, we can make the holidays a wonderful time for all.


To buy David Troxel books and to participate in Best Friends workshops and training programs, visit

To learn more about the Best Friend’s Approach, visit