On February 1, 2010, Volunteers of America National Services signed a contract with the Validation Institute to become the United States’ 4th Authorized Validation Organization.

What is this? Within the past few years, many of you have attended Validation workshops presented by Naomi Feil, the originator of the Validation method for communication with the elderly with dementia. Validation is a tested model of practice for both professionals and personal caregivers who work with confused older adults. The Validation worker tunes into the person’s inner world by helping him or her restore the past, reliving good times and resolving past conflicts. Validation helps disoriented people to reduce stress, and gives them enhanced dignity and increased happiness.

As an AVO (Authorized Validation Organization), we will now be able to offer certifications classes at the worker and group leader levels. It also gives us access to a variety of products and information based on the copyrighted works of Naomi Feil. Additionally, in conjunction with the Validation Institute, we will eventually grow our own trainers/teachers.

Volunteers of America provides care for a growing number of cognitively impaired adults and their families in a variety of community and facility- based settings. We recognize the need and opportunity for integrating the Validation method into the organizational culture and for becoming a leader in teaching the Validation method locally, regionally and nationally. This aligns with Volunteers of America’s ‘Aging With Options’ initiative, and ongoing development of Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) with home and community-based services. We will be the primary server of the Minnesota, Ohio, Colorado & Arizona regions.

For further questions you can contact: David Nilson atdnilson@voa.org, or Linda Shell at lshell@voa.org.