What is it? Validation therapy is all about stepping in to the world of the person living with memory loss. All opinions are acknowledged, respected and heard (regardless of whether or not the listener actually agrees with the content) The person living with memory loss’ point of view is treated with genuine respect and communication takes place from their perspective.
Example: Someone who is clearly lost and looking for their mother due to their confusion may be demonstrating a need for comfort and security. (Often the things our mother represents to us.) Providing that comfort, security and reassurance is likely to have a therapeutic effect.
Who is it suitable for? Validation therapy is suitable for people in all stages of memory loss but particularly useful for people who are often disorientated to time and place and are distressed about their experience.
Where is it available? The Memory Matters team use validation when working with people living with memory loss.
Can I use the principles at home? Yes. If you are caring for someone at home you can follow some of the Validation therapy principles: Avoid getting in to arguments over facts. It is opinions that are important. Someone who is struggling with memory difficulties will find it difficult to retain or grasp facts but they always know how they feel. It is these feelings that need to be acknowledged.