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Best Friends Approach

What is The Best Friends Approach?

Relationships are supremely important in memory care, and The Best Friends Approach is rooted in that understanding. Since their first publication in 1997, Virginia Bell and David Troxel have outlined a model for care that champions a compassionate, person-centered philosophy, gaining widespread respect from medical professionals around the globe.

Why is Best Friends Different?

At The Arbors at Mattis Pointe in Saint Louis, MO, we know that memory care residents require and respond brightly to the essential elements of friendship: respect, empathy, support, trust, and humor. These are the building blocks of an evidence-based care model that our staff truly embraces, proving both effective and replicable. Best Friends is a relationship-based model that emphasizes the role of care partner, not just caregiver — an important philosophy that The Arbors staff embody each and every day.

Best Friends Program at The Arbors at Mattis Pointe in Saint Louis, MO achieves best results in memory care.

Americare brings training in-house at The Arbors at Mattis Pointe to improve to quality of memory care available.

Why does Americare invest in bringing this training "in-house"?

Americare invests in Master Trainer certification for each of its regional nurse consultants to ensure consistent and comprehensive training for Arbors care partners, nursing professionals and administrators.

Americare is one of few organizations nationwide to uphold this level of commitment to the Best Friends™ training and care delivery model and it shows. 94% of Americare families would recommend their community to others.

Our regional nurse consultant in Saint Louis, Missouri already knows the residents and staff at The Arbors at Mattis Pointe. That intimate knowledge and familiarity makes the instruction more relevant, and ultimately ensures that the training will be used effectively.

What are some elements of Best Friends™ training that I would see if I visited The Arbors at Mattis Pointe?

Embracing The Life Story

At The Arbors at Mattis Pointe we spend time carefully learning each friend's Life Story. This important process allows us to communicate more effectively, honoring their memories, achievements, and traditions — all allowing us to better connect in the moment. Each Life Story serves as the foundation for a personalized care plan, a living, breathing document that evolves as our friends change.


The art of doing difficult things with ease. Best Friends™ training helps our care partners draw on their own KNACK to care for their friends. It includes being well-informed of the disease process, being empathetic, setting realistic expectations, using constructive humor, being non-judgmental, developing flexibility, and using each friend's Life Story as a basis for cueing.

Our 30-Second Rule

Take 30 seconds to become less task-oriented and more person-centered. Our care partners at The Arbors at Mattis Pointe are trained to make a personal connection before beginning personal care.

Spontaneous Activities

Our care partners at The Arbors at Mattis Pointe are trained and encouraged to stay in the moment. Care routines and activity calendars are replaced with spontaneous moments of engagement with individual friends or small groups. An unexpected snowfall may lead to making a snowman together and reminiscing about favorite winter holiday traditions. Knowing a special song to play between a friend and their spouse can create a moment of dancing and remembering. This type of engagement by care partners has shown to be important in uplifting the lives of our friends on a daily basis.

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