By Cameron Fry

Join us in wishing a Happy birthday to one of our very favorite people – Virginia Bell, a developer of the Best Friends™ Approach, who just turned 100 years old on June 30th! 

For the past 100 years, Virgina Bell, MSW, has been brightening the world with her friendship, compassion, and service to others. Having lectured both home and abroad in more than 30 countries, Virginia’s research and insights have revolutionized the way we approach dementia care – with many of her own personal articles and journals having been published between the late eighties and early 2000’s.

Today, Virginia Bell, along with David Troxel, MPH, has once again changed the way we care for those with memory loss through the Best Friend’s Approach™ to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care. Embraced by every Trilogy Memory Care community, the Best Friend’s Approach suggests that, like for any of us, the best thing in life can be nothing more than having a close friend by your side. If your father is known for his love of hot sauce, our caregivers will make sure it’s always at the table. If your mom has a favorite song, she can listen to it when she wishes, in the company of someone who cares about her. We celebrate what makes each resident unique, and we shape their experiences based on their individual life stories.

Since launching the BFF program at our campuses, our residents and staff members have expressed just how thankful they are for the impact that Virginia Bell has had on their lives. In celebration of her century of service,here are 100 things our team members had to say about why they love Virginia! 

  1. Virginia taught us how to be BFFs with our residents!
  2. Virginia is kind and caring.
  3. Virginia is an advocate for seniors with dementia.
  4. Virginia has changed the world for a better place.
  5. Virginia is special because she paved the way for better dementia care.
  6. Virginia inspires us to be the best caregivers we can be.
  7. Virginia is a wonderful woman!
  8. Virginia improved the way we care for our residents with the Best Friend’s approach.
  9. Virginia is amazing! She really cares about seniors!
  10. Virginia helps me to understand what it is like to have dementia.
  11. I learned how to ‘Have the Knack’ because of Virginia.
  12. Virginia taught us how to hire competent and compassionate caregivers.
  13. Virginia helped change the culture of our Legacy.
  14. Virginia taught me to be my own best friend.
  15. I provide better care because of the BFF approach.
  16. I love the dementia bill of rights- Thank you Virginia!
  17. I am fired up about creating a dementia friendly community!
  18.  I love the Life stories of our residents! Because I truly know our residents!
  19. Virginia has made an impact all over the world!
  20. I prevent behaviors because of the skills I learned in the Best Friend’s approach.
  21. I love Virginia bell because she has assisted with reinventing dementia care in such a way that enables caregivers and patients with Dementia to live their best lives! The BFF program is so vital in providing patient centered care. Thank you!
  22. Virginia has given us the gift of a better understanding of our Best Friends!
  23. Virginia is approachable, genuine, and compassionate.
  24. Virginia has provided simple ways and examples to use when interacting with people living with dementia.
  25. Virginia has changed the model of dementia care across the world. Through this she has touched the lives of millions.
  26. Virginia is incredible- she understands and has empathy for those with dementia.
  27. Because of Virginia, I know how to care for my father with dementia.
  28. I feel more confident in myself and am going to nursing school because of how inspiring the Best Friend’s approach is.
  30. Virginia is so smart and has made our leaders more caring.
  31. I love our monthly best friends’ trainings! Thank you, Virginia!
  32. Because of Virginia I understand that our residents need therapeutic touch!
  33. I have more empathy and understanding for what our residents need.
  34. I can help families relate to their loved ones because of the BFF approach.
  35. I now understand why my residents have certain behaviors and can help them.
  36. My leaders are more caring and compassionate! BFF has changed us all!
  37. Virginia has inspired me to continue my education and learn more about dementia care!
  38. I want to be the best nurse I can be because of Virginia.
  39. Virginia is innovative and inspirational!
  40. Virginia is someone who we can count on to make a difference everyday of her life!
  41. I am so thankful for Virginia and the impact she has had on the world.
  42. I want to be like Virginia Bell when I grow up!
  43. Virginia is a great female leader who we can all look up too!
  44. Virginia is caring and dedicated her life to making the world a better place! We love you!
  45. Virginia is understanding and made an impact worldwide!
  46. I love Virginia – she is wonder woman!
  47. Virginia is someone who empowers others.
  48. Virginia has taken dementia care to a whole new level!
  49. Virginia knows show to educate others successfully.
  50. Virginia has helped me understand that my residents aren’t giving me a hard time they are having a hard time!
  51. Virginia is a bright light in this world!
  52. Virginia taught me how to really empathize with residents.
  53. Virginia is so cool!
  54. Virginia made me a better nurse.
  55. Virginia is a very special lady!
  56. Virginia is kind and understanding.
  57. Virginia has really impacted dementia care for the better.
  58. Virginia has become my hero!
  59. Virginia is innovative and genius!
  60. Virginia, you are AMAZING!
  61. Virginia is an awesome friend.
  62. Virginia a gift to those around you.
  63. Virginia is a smart cookie.
  64. Virginia, I appreciate you.
  65. Virginia, you are the most perfect you there is.
  66. Virginia, you are enough.
  67. Virginia, you are strong.
  68. Virginia, your perspective is refreshing.
  69. Virginia, I’m grateful to know you.
  70. Virginia, you light up the room.
  71. Virginia, you deserve a hug right now.
  72. Virginia, you should be proud of yourself.
  73. Virginia, you’re more helpful than you realize.
  74. You’ve got an awesome sense of humor!
  75. Virginia, you are courageous.
  76. Virginia, your kindness is a balm to all who encounter it.
  77. You’re all that and a super-size bag of chips.
  78. Virginia, on a scale from 1 to 10, you’re an 11.
  79. Virginia, you are strong.
  80. Virginia, you’re even more beautiful on the inside than you are on the outside.
  81. Virginia, you have the courage of your convictions.
  82. Virginia, I’m inspired by you.
  83. Virginia, you’re like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day.
  84. Virginia, you are making a difference.
  85. Virginia, thank you for being there for me.
  86. Virginia, you bring out the best in other people.
  87. Virginia, you’re better than a triple-scoop ice cream cone. With sprinkles.
  88. Virginia, you are really kind to people around you.
  89. Virginia, You’re one of a kind!
  90. Virginia, you help me be the best version of myself.
  91. Virginia, if you were a box of crayons, you’d be the giant name-brand one with the built-in sharpener.
  92. Virginia, you should be thanked more often. So, thank you!!
  93. Virginia, our community is better because of you!
  94. Virginia, someone is getting through something hard right now because you’ve got their back.
  95. Virginia, you have the best ideas.
  96. Virginia, you always find something special in the most ordinary things.
  97. Virginia, everyone gets knocked down sometimes, but you always get back up and keep going.
  98. Virginia, You’re a candle in the darkness.
  99. Virginia, You’re a great example to others.
  100. Virginia, being around you is like being on a happy little vacation.

Happy birthday Virginia – thank you for all that you do! 

To learn more about Virginia Bell and David Troxel, as well as our very own BFF Program, please click here.