Validation Therapy – Communicating with confused people

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Why choose this course?

  • staff working with people with dementia are often frustrated at the lack of effective tools for communication
  • over time advice for how to deal with certain situations has changed, e.g. how to respond to a person of 80 frequently calling for their mother, but not necessarily met the older person’s underlying emotional needs
  • all research shows that those with dementia and particularly those with a disinhibition regarding anger are most vulnerable to being abused, both in the community and in formal care settings
  • this course enables workers to be aware of what will, and what won’t, facilitate communication with different types of people
  • Validation Therapy has been used with great success in the US for 40 years
  • positive results ~ staff are empowered with accessible tools and remotivated by understanding why people with dementia are acting the way they do, thus helping themselves, the older person and their family to stay connected

Length of course: 1 day 9.30 ~ 4.30 This course can be expanded by including it with ‘Still being touched by life: sensory stimulation for people with dementiaand ‘Looking back and looking forward: reminiscence work

Expected outcomes: by the end of the course participants will be able to

  • use a set of diagnostic tools (the Feil categories) with which to evaluate the
  • most appropriate way of communicating with people in various stages of dementia
  • apply learnt skills to deal with anxiety and concerns which may be poorly expressed
  • increase their ability to stay calm and centred when dealing with older people whose behaviour may present a problem to them, and to answer the underlying needs beneath anger
  • understand the underpinning theoretical assumptions of Validation Therapy
  • show increased confidence when responding to emotionally challenging situations with time disorientated elders
  • evaluate their practice in terms of Kitwood’s old and new models of dementia
  • ensure that they are using Kitwood’s positive person to person interactions
  • be aware of symbolic gestures that may be a substitute for language, and how to respond appropriately
  • build on existing skills so that people with dementia are not unknowingly treated abusively

Nature of training:

Maximum of 16 staff members in participative group work.
Exercises will range from lecture style input (small) to discussion and small group work and to individual practicing of the communication techniques within pairs.
Hand outs will be provided to reinforce all theoretical input.
Videos of Naomi Feil’s work will be shown to demonstrate how this works in action.

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