Memory Care Strategies

Are 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 enter the reality of the person for whom they are caring.

With exercises and role-playing, Odile teaches care partners how to accept disoriented older people as 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
  • Often better motor coordination
  • Care-partners express a greater sense of fulfillment and feel better prepared to handle difficult situations


Professional In-Service

60-90 minutes lively presentations keep all categories of professionals engaged. Exercises and interactive reflections on change and dealing with loss help to foster empathy.

Community Trainings / Care Partners Support Groups

Introductory trainings are customized to your needs, availability, goals and budget. Interactive sessions may include sharing of experiences, role-playing, case studies and practice of verbal and non verbal communication.

Individual Family Support

Odile meets with family and listens to questions and doubts. She provides the communication tools appropriate for each phase of disorientation. The option of additional check-ins, with all involved, helps to build and maintain a livable and stimulating environment.

About Odile

Odile Lavault
Recreation Therapist

 Recreation Therapist, musician and educator, Odile Lavault is passionate about communication with seniors with memory-loss and disorientation. Odile holds a Bachelor’s 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 experience in exploring forgetfulness was developed through hands-on experience in residential skilled nursing and  acute psychiatric geriatric hospital. Odile’s multicultural and creative background has proven a perfect match for the constant improvisation, openness, patience and optimism required in the practice of Validation with those who have memory loss. Odile believes that there is a reason behind all behaviors. Through observing and listening with empathy she provides individual answers to care-partners’ questions “What to say?” and “What to do?” She writes regularly about her work in the Soul 2 Soul Blog.

Listen to Odile talking to Corinne Frugoni: 


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, Activity 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 affects behaviors, emotional control, and personality. 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, Korsakoff syndrome, advanced HIV, 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. Some causes are reversible.

Send a message to Odile Lavault