Validation can be used by anyone who cares for older people who suffer from memory loss. All caregivers — both professionals and family members — can use Validation with positive results.
Validation practitioners have empathy, are non-judgmental and are able to handle their own feelings as well as the feelings of others. In order to validate another person, the Validation practitioner must “center,” observe carefully and then step into the personal reality of the client. There are verbal and non-verbal techniques that can be learned and used to build a trusting relationship in which the clients can communicate and be motivated to express themselves.
Caregivers trained in the Validation method are able to integrate the theory and techniques into a practice that brings understanding, joy, compassion and quality of life to both the practitioner and the client. Volunteers of America provides such training, including four levels of certification.
- Caregiving refers to attending to another individual’s health needs. Caregiving often includes assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs such as toileting, bathing, dressing). It can also include shopping, cooking meals, MD visits, financial management and housekeeping.
Facts of Family Caregiving
- In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at more than $216 billion.
- Out of pocket expenses for long-distance caregivers are nearly twice as much as local caregivers.
- More than 3 in 5 caregivers are women.
Length of Caregiving
- 43% provide care for 1–4 years.
- 32% provide care for more than 5 years.
- Caregivers have increased risk of emotional distress, depression, impaired immune system response, health impairments, lost wages and/or depleted income and finances.
- 59% of women felt there was no choice in caregiving.
- Caregivers often feel a loss of social support and daily routine.
- 61% of caregivers rate their level of stress as high or very high.
- The physical and emotional impact of dementia caregiving is estimated to be $8.7 billion in increased health care costs.