Naomi Feil spent a lot of her life exposed to the care of senior citizens.
Her father was an administrator of an assisted living home. Her mother led the social services department. After getting a master’s degree in social work, she worked with the elderly. She pioneered the Validation Technique.
What is the Validation Technique?
With the Validation Technique, you empathize with the person who is dealing with disorientation. It’s especially helpful when you’re caring for a parent with dementia. There is no judging. Instead, you have to see how it feels from your parent’s eyes without getting frustrated or trying to change how they feel or react.
As an example, a patient is angry and lashing out at others that pass by. The nurse asks “what makes you angry?” rather than telling her to stop. The woman says she can’t make her brain clear the fog that’s keeping her from finding the right word. Instead of trying to change the subject or fill in words for her, the nurse agrees that she would find that frustrating, too.
How Can You Use This Technique?
When your mom is frustrated, scared, delusional, or panicked, instead of trying to convince her it’s okay, work through the situation from her point of view. Imagine that she’s convinced her dog has been kidnapped.
You know the dog is safe at your house and that she’s delusional. Ask her what would happen to her dog if it was kidnapped? You can validate the fear with this question and not make her feel ashamed or wrong for having this delusion.
Sometimes, people with dementia have a sense that they didn’t finish something. For example, an elderly man cannot settle at night. He paces the hallways and demands the lights stay on. His caregivers ask why the lights are important instead of arguing. They learn that he’d once worked as a security guard and the place he watched over was burglarized one night when he forgot to leave lights on at the end of his shift.
Work With Caregivers
Dementia is one of many chronic health conditions that require the elderly to have assistance with activities of daily living. Make sure you arrange to have elder care aides spend time with your mom or dad when you’re not able to provide care. Ask the elder care aides if they know the Validation Technique and explain to them how it is helping your parent with agitation. Call now.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Homecare in Lake Bluff, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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