A Quick Look at Validation Therapy for Older Adults with Dementia

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Despite having dementia, seniors still want to feel accepted, acknowledged, and loved. Validation therapy can boost a senior’s emotional wellbeing and ensure effective communication. Here’s what you need you need to know about validation therapy in dementia care.

About Validation Therapy

When dementia develops, the neurological changes that take place in the brain alter the thought processes. As such, when trying to communicate with older adults who have dementia, caregivers commonly experience difficulty. Seniors with dementia are often in a world of their own, which makes two-way communication challenging. However, when using the right technique, caregivers can break through the barrier and make a connection.

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Bethlehem families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.

In the past, caregivers used reality orientation when communicating with seniors with dementia. It was thought that the method would help older adults reconnect with the present reality. However, the technique was often met with agitation and argumentation. Validation therapy focuses on emotional aspects, and it requires the caregiver to respect the senior’s beliefs and feelings at the moment.

The therapy involves hearing and comprehending seniors with dementia when they’re mentally in the moment. The caregiver must display compassion and care during the conversation regardless of whether he or she agrees with the older adult’s perception of the situation.

The principles behind validation therapy come from a combination of theories by psychoanalysts. The concept involves the belief that seniors with dementia have difficulty remedying unresolved past issues. When caregivers don’t recognize or understand this challenge, older adults with dementia act out with agitation, frustration, anger, and aggression. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Bethlehem, PA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Implementing Validation Therapy

When communicating with a senior loved one who has dementia, be willing to demonstrate empathy. Concentrate and hear what your parent is trying to convey. Encourage your loved one to visit the past to determine how he or she might have handled the situation. The action may assist with memory recall and enable your parent to better manage a situation or successfully handle a task.

If your loved one doesn’t mind physical contact, offer a compassionate back rub or a pat on the hand. Physical touch often has a calming effect. Making eye contact allows your parent to see that you’re attempting to make a connection, and watching him or her speak offers a sense of security. When speaking, use a calm, quiet voice.

Playing familiar music is another means of making a connection. Favorite tunes provide a calming effect and stimulate memories.

Consider venturing into your loved one’s reality to learn the motivation behind his or her feelings and thoughts. From there, offer a solution based on his or her needs at the time.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Bethlehem seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, give Home Care Assistance a call at 484-350-3874 today.