The Validation Breakthrough


Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

Third Edition

Naomi Feil, M.S.W., and Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, R.N., M.B.A., M.S.W.

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Validation is a successful way of communicating with older adults with Alzheimer’s-type dementia and responding to their challenging behaviors. The Validation method helps reduce stress, enhance dignity, and increase happiness for both the elder and the caregiver. Since its inception in 1989, Validation has helped thousands of professional and family caregivers improve their relationships with residents and loved ones with dementia by acknowledging older adults’ expressed feelings rather than focusing on disorientation and confusion.

In this revised edition, you will learn how to:

  • Build relationships with residents based on empathy and compassion
  • Understand and deal with challenging behaviors
  • Interpret nonverbal cues to promote better communication
  • Implement Validation in your own care setting through the experiences shared by Authorized Validation Organizations around the world

The Validation method is easy to learn and positive results can be seen in both residents and caregivers.

  • Residents express less anger and anxiety, decreasing the need for chemical and physical restraints.
  • Residents communicate more freely and more often.
  • Residents often move better and experience an improved sense of self-worth.
  • Staff members express a greater sense of fulfillment at work and feel better prepared for handling difficult situations.
  • Families visit more often.

The Validation Breakthrough is an essential resource for professionals in all settings serving adults who may be confused and disoriented, including assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, home health care, adult day services, and family care settings.

Join the 10,000+ agencies in over 16 countries that are successfully implementing Validation in their organizations and start improving your care for individuals with dementia today!

Naomi Feil, M.S., A.C.S.W., is the developer of Validation. She was born in Munich in 1932, and grew up in the Montefiore Home for the Aged in Cleveland Ohio, where her father was the administrator and her mother, the head of the Social Service Department. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York, she began working with the elderly. Between 1963 and 1980, Mrs. Feil developed Validation as a response to her dissatisfaction with traditional methods of working with the severely disoriented older people who were her clients. In 1982 she published her first book, Validation: The Feil Method, which was revised in 1992. Her second book, The Validation Breakthrough, was published in 1993, and updated and revised in 2012. Feil and her husband have made many films and videos about aging and Validation. Feil is the Executive Director of the Validation Training Institute and a popular speaker in North America and Europe. Since 1989 she has toured Europe 3 times a year offering workshops in Validation to participants in Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, and Austria. Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, Italian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, and Japanese.

Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, R.N., M.B.A., works full-time as a Validation Master-Teacher and lecturer as well as Naomi Feil’s manager in Europe. As European Manager, she was a founding member of the European Validation Association (1993) and assisted in the development of Authorized Validation Organizations in Austria, Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America. She taught the first formal Validation course in 1994 and since then has been training internationally, delivering certification courses at all levels. As AVO Coordinator for the Validation Training Institute, she has assisted in the development of Authorized Validation Organizations in the United States, and written the AVO Guidelines. Ms. de Klerk-Rubin, working with teams of Validation Teachers, has shepherded the development of standardized course curricula, levels of certification, quality guidelines and testing materials. She has been an advisor to the Validation Training Institute Board of Trustees since its inception and a member since 2009. She currently holds the dual positions of Board Secretary and AVO Coordinator. Ms. de Klerk-Rubin received her BFA from Boston University (1978), an MBA from Fordham University (1983), and a Nursing degree from Hogeschool Holland, Amsterdam (1997). She has published numerous articles on Validation in Dutch and British magazines and co-authored the revisions of Naomi Feil’s publications. Her book, Validation Techniques for Dementia Care: The Family Guide to Improving Communicationhas been published in multiple languages.