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Benefits of Validation Therapy in Dementia Care

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Before joining the United States Postal Service, former educator and school vice-principal Nichole Thiel spent several years caring for her mother. During this period, Nichole Thiel became certified in dementia care. This credential trains certificate holders on the latest treatment approaches for neurodegenerative disorders, including validation therapy.

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Benefits of Validation Therapy in Dementia Care

  1. 1. Benefits of Validation Therapy in Dementia Care Nichole Thiel
  2. 2. Introduction • Before joining the United States Postal Service, former educator and school vice- principal Nichole Thiel spent several years caring for her mother. During this period, Nichole Thiel became certified in dementia care. This credential trains certificate holders on the latest treatment approaches for neurodegenerative disorders, including validation therapy. For many years, the reality orientation approach was prevalent in dementia care. In this technique, caregivers would gently remind dementia patients of the current time and environment to help cement them in the present reality. However, this approach often caused agitation in the patient and created distance between patient and caregiver. In recent years, validation therapy has gained ground as an effective alternative. Rather than correct a patient’s mistaken conceptions about themselves or their situation, caregivers should use this as an opportunity for open and nonjudgmental discussions. For example, instead of reminding a patient that a loved one has passed, caregivers should ask the patient to share a memory about his or her relative. Likewise, patients who dwell on the past shouldn’t be reminded of their age, but instead encouraged to share more about their experiences. In this way, validation therapy can help build trust and feelings of security.

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