Validation Therapy for dementia care

memory clinicValidation emphasizes empathy and listening. It is a method of communicating with and helping disoriented old people. ‘Disoriented old people’ is the term used by Validation therapists to talk about individuals with dementia or other cognitive problems.

Using Validation is a practical way of working that helps reduce stress, enhance dignity and increase happiness. When a person can “step into the shoes” of another human being and “see through their eyes,” they can understand the disoriented old person and understand the meaning of their behavior, which sometimes is even bizarre.

The core belief behind the validation therapy is that many old disoriented people, who are often diagnosed as having dementia, are in the final stage of life, trying to resolve unfinished issues in order to die in peace.

Basic Principles of Validation Therapy

Validation therapy advocates that, rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to the reality, it is more positive to enter their reality. In this way the caregiver and the patients develops a stronger bond, trust and safety. The elderly feels accepted and valued. The therapy focuses on the objective of being ‘here and now’ and doesn’t ask why.

Using Validation techniques we as caregiver offer the disoriented elderly an opportunity to express what they wish to express whether it is verbal or non-verbal communication. When the elderly can express the things that they have often been suppressing, the intensity of negative emotions lessen, people communicate more and are less likely to withdraw into further stages of disorientation.

According to Validation Therapy, older people struggle to resolve unfinished issues. To resolve these issues they express their past conflicts in different forms. They will retrieve in their own word, express their emotions in actions rather than words or become quieter. To help elderly resolve past issues, the caregiver has to listen, showing empathy and respect so that the person feels valued, not judged.

To summarize, the most basic principles of Validation Therapy are:

  • Empathy builds trust, reduces anxiety, and restores dignity
  • Painful feelings expressed and then validated by a trusted listener will diminish
  • Painful feelings that are ignored or suppressed will gain strength

Therapy in practice for the caregiver

Caregiver family members are often posed with bizarre disorientations and hallucinations of their loved ones. For example one day the father gets disoriented and hallucinates that the son is a long lost friend who did something bad to him. He starts shouting at him and treats him badly.

Instead of getting hurt or arguing with the father, the son could remold the situation in a more positive way and help him reminiscence about his younger days and friends. He can ask questions like, “Why are you angry with him?” “How long did you both know each other?” “Let’s talk about your other friends too”.

Through empathy and respect, validation therapy can help elderly with dementia feel listened to and supported. They can regain the dignity their disease has stolen, this comfort may not cure the disease, but it helps with the symptoms and offers better quality of life for senior loved ones and their caregivers.


We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.

Our Dementia Care services are

At-home services –
Dementia intervention activities by trained Care Specialists (already mentioned above). These services are available in Delhi NCR
More – http://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-care
Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659

Dementia Support Group –
Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR and Guwahati is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other.
More – http://www.samvednacare.org/our-work/dementia-care
Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659 | Guwahati – 9864015872

Cognitive Wellness Programme, Sector 57  Gurgaon  –
Samvedna’s Cognitive Wellness Programme is designed for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, early dementia or Parkinson’s, and elderly lacking in enthusiasm and motivation. The aim is to stimulate the mind of the elderly to slow the progression of the disease or impairment. The sessions are 3 days a week, 11AM-1PM.
More – http://www.samvednacare.org/our-work/cognitive-wellness-programme

General Wellbeing:

With our General Well Being Services we aim to raise the quality of life of seniors, specially those who may have limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints. Our interactive programme keeps them active and engaged through physical, mental and social activities, all in the comfort of their home.

More – http://samvednacare.com/general-wellbeing

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