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How Aging Adults with Dementia Benefit from Validation Therapy

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Statistics indicate there are more than 35 million people throughout the world living with some form of dementia. In the next three decades, the number of afflicted older adults is projected to nearly quadruple. Family members and professional caregivers who have a relationship with an older adult living with dementia understand the difficulties involved with communicating with someone who lives with this disorder. They’re often experiencing a different reality. However, validation therapy may prove beneficial for all concerned.

The Basics of Validation Therapy

Accept that there is a reason seniors with dementia demonstrate certain behaviors. Some believe seniors with dementia are attempting to accomplish unfinished tasks in a unique way through nonverbal and verbal means. However, when they display undesired behaviors, they are often met with a negative reaction, which exacerbates the behavior. On the other hand, validation therapy encourages empathy. Proponents of the technique suggest that loved ones and caregivers approach seniors affected by dementia with compassion and respect rather than argumentation, belittlement, and criticism.

Compassion is one of the most important characteristics any caregiver can possess. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Rocklin caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.

Reality Orientation vs. Validation Techniques

For decades, family members and caregivers have been instructed to use reality orientation to try to redirect seniors with dementia back to reality. However, that method commonly proved to be ineffective. Validation therapy approaches the communication problem in the opposite way. Rather than trying to alter your loved one’s thought processes, approach the situation from his or her reality. The technique requires acknowledging your loved one and accepting his or her present train of thought. Then, devise a method to be helpful. 

Your ability to understand your loved one’s version of reality may vary depending on how far the dementia has progressed. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Rocklin live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

Validation Methods

If your loved one displays difficulty performing a certain task, a reminder about how he or she was able to complete the activity in the past might stimulate memory and problem-solving skills. Music is another ideal way to stimulate memory. By hearing a familiar tune, your loved one may venture to the past and the skills and talents he or she once demonstrated. The memory might then become part of the present and provide a greater ability to overcome challenges. 

When your loved one becomes frustrated or agitated, simply approaching him or her quietly and making eye contact may create a calming influence. For example, your loved one might not be able to feel hunger at mealtimes. Nagging him or her to eat could cause discomfort, frustration, and anger. However, if you ask about your loved one’s favorite foods, he or she might remember enjoying those items and be more willing to start eating. If your loved one is resistant to bathing, don’t resort to arguing or trying to point out the importance of personal hygiene. Instead, try asking about favorite bath soaps or other toiletries. Incorporate these items into the routine and see if your loved one becomes more cooperative.

Validation therapy may be quite effective for seniors with dementia, which means caregivers can have greater peace of mind as well. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Rocklin Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.