Do's and Dont's


From The Best Friends” Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
by Virginia Bell, M.S.W. and David Troxel, M.P.H.


  • Listen carefully
  • Help a person fill in the blanks
  • Read facial expressions and body language and try to respond appropriately
  • Give compliments
  • Ask opinions
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Give generous praise
  • Use common sense
  • Enjoy the person in every way possible
  • Take the blame and apologize
  • Be sincere
  • Use the person’s life story regularly
  • Use positive language
  • Rely on humor
  • Keep language simple


  • Argue, confront, correct
  • Give orders, make demands
  • Talk down to a person
  • Talk about a person in his or her presence as if the person were not there
  • Ask questions that require remembering too many facts
  • Try to explain or prepare too far in advance
  • Take negative comments personally
  • Give too many choices
  • Take anything for granted


For more information about the Best Friends approach to Alzheimer's care, contact the Alliance office!