Soul2Soul Blog

Memory Care Strategies

Odile2SLIDESHOW_web_cropAre you sometimes confused or frustrated trying to communicate with an older adult who has memory loss?
Do you ever wonder what’s going on inside the person?
Are you wondering what to say? What to do?

Using the Validation Method, Odile Lavault gives care-partners the tools to change themselves so they can enter the personal reality of the person for whom they are caring.

With exercises and role-play, Odile teaches how to accept disoriented older people just the way they are in the moment, without trying to change them.

Some of the positive results:
• Less anger and anxiety, decreasing the need for chemical and physical restraints
• Communication happens more freely and more often
• Improved sense of self-worth and often better motor coordination
• Care-partners express a greater sense of fulfillment and feel better prepared to handle difficult situations

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Odile teaches the Validation Method tools and concepts in a variety of settings:

Community Trainings / Care Partners Support Group
Basic Introduction trainings are customized to your needs, availability, goals and budget. Sessions are interactive with sharing of experiences, role-play, case studies and practice of verbal and non verbal communication.

The 60 minutes in service keeps all categories of workers engaged through empathy fostering exercises and interactive reflection on change and dealing with loss.

Individual Family Support
Odile meets with the family and listens to questions and doubts. She provides the communication tools appropriate for each phase of disorientation. Regular check-ins help to build and maintain an environment as harmonious as possible.

Validation Internship
Would you like to improve your Validation skills in a supervised environment? At a schedule of your choice (minimum 4 hours/week) you can share the life of the residents of a memory-care unit, in a well-known S.F. skilled nursing community.

Validation Certified Courses
Level 1 and level 2 Validation classes are offered when enough students inquire. Let us know if you would like to be informed of the next class.

Contact Odile: or use the contact form at the bottom of the page

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Olga-headshot_webAbout Odile
Recreation therapist, musician and educator, Odile Lavault is passionate about communication with seniors with memory-loss and disorientation. Odile holds a Bachelor Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Cal State Hayward University. She completed her Validation Teacher Certification in 2012 after 4 years of studies in France and in the U.S. Odile ‘s varied experience in memory-care includes short and long term skilled nursing, acute psychiatric geriatric hospital and care-partners support. Odile’s multicultural and creative back ground has proven a perfect match for the constant improvisation, openness, patience and optimism required in the practice of Validation. Odile believes that there is a reason behind all behaviors. Through observing and listening with empathy she provides individual answers to “What to say?” and “What to do?”

Listen to Odile talking to Corinne Frugoni:

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Frequently Asked Questions
What is validation?
Validation is a successful way of communicating with older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s type dementia and responding to their challenging behaviors. It was developed by Naomi Feil, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., as a response to her dissatisfaction with traditional methods of working with severely disoriented old-old people who were her clients.

Since its inception in 1982, Validation has helped thousands of professional and family care-partners all over the world. Validation improves relationships with older adults with dementia by acknowledging their expressed feelings rather than focusing on disorientation and confusion.

Who benefits from Validation training?
All categories of care-partners including: Family members, Professional caregivers, Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Home Health Aides, Physicians, Social Workers, Therapists, Clergy, Activities Professionals and anyone eager to learn how to communicate with disoriented “old-old” individuals with proven methods.

What is dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a range of symptoms that usually begins with a decline in memory and interferes with other thinking skills such as perception, reasoning, judgment, problem solving and language. Dementia causes changes in emotional and behavioral control. There are many diseases or conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms.

What causes dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy-Body disease, Huntington’s disease, Pick’s disease, advanced HIV, a stroke, vascular disease (problems with blood vessels that impair circulation), Traumatic Brain Injury, thyroid disease, vitamin deficiency and medication interaction are some possible causes of dementia. Many are progressive, but some are correctable.

Memory Care Resources

Send a message to Odile Lavault