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How Does Validation Help Alzheimer’s Patients?

Validation is a type of approach that can help Alzheimer’s patients have a better quality of life. Dementia care providers can help caregivers with this.

Alzheimer’s disease brings with it a lot of different types of challenges, especially as it progresses and cognitive issues become worse. One type of technique that can work well for people with Alzheimer’s disease is called validation. Dementia care providers can help families understand validation and how it can help their seniors connect and communicate more effectively.

What Is Validation Concerning Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dementia Care Floral Park NY - How Does Validation Help Alzheimer’s Patients?
Dementia Care Floral Park NY – How Does Validation Help Alzheimer’s Patients?

Validation involves using empathy while communicating with Alzheimer’s patients and other people with dementia. The goal isn’t to correct or to challenge the person’s perceptions. Instead, validation is about acknowledging how the person is feeling and what they’re experiencing, even if those feelings and experiences don’t necessarily match up with reality. This can feel unusual for families at first, but with practice, it becomes easier.

Avoiding Contradiction

Lots of times family members of someone with Alzheimer’s disease contradict and correct their aging adults when they say something that doesn’t make sense or that is untrue. What tends to happen is that the person living with a cognitive illness tends to become frustrated and confused. The message that they’re getting from this contradiction is that they’re wrong, which feels even worse to them. The first step in validation is to avoid making contradictions and simply offer comfort and support without corrections.

Therapeutic Fibbing

Another tool used in validation is called therapeutic fibbing. This means that family members use gentle, compassionate fibs that validate the senior’s emotions to prevent them from feeling more distressed. In situations where insisting on the truth might cause more anxiety or agitation, a therapeutic fib might help the senior to feel better. It’s not about seeking out opportunities to lie, but more about offering a comforting response.

Redirecting Focus and Attention

In other situations, seniors may find themselves in a loop of distressing thoughts or memories. Using gentle redirection can help them to move their focus to something more positive and more engaging. Dementia care providers can help family caregivers introduce a new topic or steer seniors toward a new and more enjoyable activity. Redirecting helps to reduce anxiety and promote calm.

Fostering Emotional Connections

When family caregivers try to insist on the truth and reality, that can drive their seniors away from them emotionally. Alzheimer’s patients have a difficult time with events that are happening in the here and now, so it’s not as helpful as family caregivers hope to insist that seniors agree with them about what is happening. Using validation helps Alzheimer’s patients to feel more understood and heard, which is a way to help them feel more of a connection with the people around them.

Validation offers families a way to reach out to their seniors with Alzheimer’s disease in a way that acknowledges their feelings and is comforting. Dementia care providers understand how difficult it is to help seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, especially as the illness progresses. They can show families how to use tools like validation to create a supportive and nurturing environment for the seniors they love.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Dementia Care Services in Floral Park NY, please get in touch with the caring staff at Star Multi Care today. Call (631) 424-7827

Star Multi Care is a Trusted Home Care Agency serving Long Island and in NYC including Dix Hills, Floral Park, Great Neck, Huntington, Manhasset, Massapequa, Northport, Plainview, Rockville Center, Stonybrook, Suffolk County, Nassau County, and Queens County.

Stephen Sternbach

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