Human Factor Validation
Validation is a humane and effective method of communicating with disoriented very old people. It is built on an empathetic attitude and an holistic view of Individuals. It is skilful interaction that develops a trusting relationship between the individual and carer-giver. It helps to reduce stress, identify an unmet need, enhance dignity and increase wellbeing.
Julia Pitkin and I will be delivering the first course of its kind in the UK in January. We believe this course will help people to find more creative ways of working with the person who has dementia with their involvement. It will provide much greater job satisfaction through new insights, knowledge and skills -learning new behaviours. Behaviour we see in others living with dementia which was once labelled ‘problematic’ can be reframed in positive ways.
New medication for dementia is a long way off we still need to find and disseminate ways that help people to stay connected – we know that preventing social isolation is a key wellbeing indicator
The Validation approach is a model of communicating based on working with connections from a person’s life experiences, their language and behaviours.
Working in dementia care it is not just about helping the person living with dementia to understand us, but importantly us learning their language and responding with genuine empathy.
If we were to look beyond the person we see and the behaviour we find difficult, we can recognise the person’s search for security, control, love, attachment, usefulness and the need to be included as a social being. These are basic human needs for everyone (Kitwood 1997).
A conversation becomes therapeutic when the individual who is desperately struggling to express an emotional or psychological need, is able to do so, and feels they are heard and acknowledged by another. We believe that practical work shop style learning in small groups, practicing with lots of feedback and encouragement will release confidence in a workforce that needs to really now move beyond awareness into transformative practice as part ofthe everyday muscle of ‘doing’