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Validation Techniques in Dementia Care: The Family Guide to Improving Communication
Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, R.N., M.B.A.
Health Professions Press / Softcover / Nov 2007
9781932529371 (ISBN-10: 1932529373)
Dementia / Older Age (Self Help)
price: $40.50 (may be subject to change)
144 pages
Not in Stock, can take 4-6 weeks to ship

Written especially for family members and friends caring for people with dementia, this practical guidebook offers a solution to commonly faced communication and relationship difficulties. Developed by social worker Naomi Feil and widely practiced around the world, the Validation approach provides caring and empathetic techniques to support meaningful communication and interaction with people with memory impairments.

This hands-on resource gives family caregivers all the information and guidance they need to successfully implement proven Validation techniques and enjoy resulting benefits such as

reduced challenging behavior
improved communication
lower levels of stress and anxiety in both caregivers and older adults
more satisfying relationships
In addition to background information about dementia and the principles behind Validation, the book includes detailed, illustrated explanations of specific verbal and nonverbal communication techniques. Realistic case studies demonstrate the approach in action in many different relationships, including husband/wife, parent/child, and grandparent/grandchild.

Caregivers who adopt Validation will learn how to break through the silence and pain of withdrawal and interact with their loved one with greater respect and compassion. Start re-establishing connections and improving relationships today with Validation Techniques for Dementia Care.


"Validation Techniques for Dementia Care is a rare book, written with empathy for the caregiver … Bringing 20 years of experience as a Validation presenter, practitioner, and teacher, [the author] offers families step-by-step ways of communicating, with a multitude of examples and exercises."
-Naomi Feil, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., L.I.S.W., B.C.D., Executive Director, Validation Training Institute, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio

"Validation Techniques for Dementia Care … uses a combination of narrative and step-by-step guidelines to help readers truly integrate Validation techniques into their interactions with loved ones … Reading this book will build mindfulness and empathy in caregivers, teaching them simple methods that can help them explore and support that emotional reality of aging persons and find relevance and meaning in their experiences."
-Peter Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., and Danny George, M.Sc., authors of The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis

"How I wish I'd had this book when I was caring for my parents, both suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Through trial and error, I eventually learned to just forget about logic and reason and used what I called 'Go-With-The-Flow,' never realizing I was using a Validation technique. How much easier it would have been and how much time and heartache it would have saved to have instructions on how to manage the myriad of odd behaviors that occur in those with dementia."
-Jacqueline Marcell, author of Elder Rage and radio host of Coping With Caregiving

"This book contains controversial, yet highly enlightening, concepts that will aid family members in their quest to communicate with and find meaning in their relationship with their loved ones."
-John C. Colletti, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist; Certified Validation Teacher; President, Chapman Senior Care, Richmond, VA
"This book gives family members, friends, and others the keys to unlock the doors to continued relationships and opportunities for positive interactions with loved ones. Ms. deKlerk-Rubin presents the principles of Validation, gives meaningful guidance in negotiating the role of caregiver, provides techniques and approaches that have been proven to be useful, and gives excellent examples in the form of stories to guide application. An important contribution to the caregiving literature."
-Harvey L. Sterns, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology and Professor of Psychology, The University of Akron; Research Professor of Gerontology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy

"Vicki de Klerk-Rubin has penned a powerful complement to Naomi Feil's earlier works.… Clear-cut examples from real life situations are offered as insights into effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques to be used with someone who suffers from disorientation or dementia.… Readers are left with concrete methods and a sense of hope as they toil through very difficult times."
-Sandy Ransom, R.N., M.S.H.P., Director, Texas Long Term Care Institute



Part I: Understanding What Happens to the Disoriented Very Old

Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Disorientation: What’s in a Name?
When It Happens in Your Family: Being There for Another and Coping with Your Own Feelings
The Principles of Validation: Tools for Thinking Differently about the Disoriented Very Old
What Do They Mean? Recognizing Needs and Meaning in the Behavior of the Very Old
Resolution: The Tasks of Life’s Final Phase

Part II: How to Communicate with Your Disoriented Relative

Find the Appropriate Distance
Find Empathy
Use Appropriate Verbal and Nonverbal Techniques
You, Too, Are a Person: Respect Your Own Limits, and Ask for Help

Part III: How Validation Works in Real-Life Family Situations

Preparing Yourself Mentally
Doris and Her Mother: What to Do When She Repeats the Same Thing Over and Over
Mr. Allen and His Wife, Joan: How to React When She Thinks that It Is 1942
Nancy and Her Mother: Letting Go and Entering Your Mother’s World
Mrs. Prachel and Her Mother: Realizing that Mother Has not Become a Child
Jill and Her Grandmother: Teaching Young People How to Relate with Disoriented
Max and His “Waiting for Johnnie” Mother: Accepting Your Mother, Just as She Is
Emily and Her Husband, Samuel: The Agony of not Being Recognized
Helen and Her Sister, Meryl: How to Handle, "I Want to Go Home Now!"
Sara and Her Mom: Why Lying and Play-Acting Do not Work
Louise and Tom: Losing Your Husband a Little Bit Every Day

Family Member Support Group
Family Caregiver Course in Validation
In-Home Counseling: Austrian Model
Summary of Validation for Family Caregivers
Centering Exercises
Validation and Alzheimer’s Disease Information Resources

About the Author:

Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, R.N., M.B.A., is the European manager of the Validation Training Institute and a certified Validation Master. She is the co-author of the 1992 revision of Validation: The Feil Method and the 2nd edition of The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with "Alzheimer's-Type Dementia." Ms. de Klerk-Rubin holds a bachelor of fine arts from Boston University and a master's of business administration from Fordham University, and is a Dutch-trained registered nurse. Since 1989, she has given Validation workshops, lectures, and training programs in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States of America. She also has worked in numerous nursing facilities in Amsterdam, leading Validation groups and training staff.

Ms. de Klerk-Rubin, a native New Yorker, is married to a Dutch diplomat and has 2 daughters who were born in Vienna, Austria. Together they have spent the last 20 years living in Amsterdam, Vienna, Bonn, and The Hague.

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