GSS Adopt The Best Friends™ Approach to Dementia Care

Good Shepherd Services adds Best Friends™ Master Trainers and becomes a certified Best Friends™ Environment. The Best Friends™ Approach is a person-centered, compassionate care philosophy grounded in the understanding that relationships are supremely important to dementia care and that they require the essential elements of friendship: respect, empathy, support, trust, and humor. With Best Friends™, the focus is on the individual—the person’s rights, history, and relationships with all care partners. Adopting this care initiative supports facilities in their quest to create culture-changing communities of care. The core components of the Best Friends™ philosophy include the Alzheimer’s Disease Bill of Rights, the Life Story, the KNACK, and the art of communication. Those who have used and endorsed the approach, including internationally recognized dementia experts, state-level agencies, Alzheimer’s Association chapters, and corporations providing care in a variety of settings, have found that the use of this adaptable approach improves the quality of care for the people they serve. More information can be found at

Good Shepherd’s acquisition of 2 of Certified Best Friends™ Master Trainers, Anne Peterson and Cindy Rauterkus, demonstrates a commitment to providing the highest quality of dementia care available today as well as to ensuring ongoing, sustainable professional development for staff in the Best Friends™ care philosophy. These qualified individuals have demonstrated mastery of the principles and practices of the Best Friends™ Approach to Alzheimer’s care and are the resident experts at their facility with the responsibility of leading co-workers in the provision of this superior, person-centered care model. Maintaining a Master Trainer Certification requires completion of yearly certification standards, which ensure fidelity in ongoing implementation and sustainability.