Understanding Life’s Stages by Sherri Snider, M.S.W

Sherri Snider with mother, Norma. I was spanked as a child. Probably not as often as I needed it, (and less than my brothers), but my mother regularly “put it to me.” I especially remember coming home from church one Sunday after misbehaving. I knew I was going to “get it!” I told

It’s Not Our Job to Fix Them by Sherri Snider, M.S.W.

AV Administrator Sherri Snider with her mother, Norma. My mother has dementia….like her mother before her, my beautiful Momma, with her winning smile, has dementia. When it first started and she could remember, she called it her “affliction.” Now, she just knows fear and frustration at trying to communicate her needs. It breaks

Respecting Presence

Naomi Feil developed effective methods for communicating with people who have “Alzheimer’s-Type Dementia.” She identified four stages. The third and fourth stages require certain approaches which can create meaningful interactions with confused persons.   Persons in the third stage engage in repetitive motion. They may pace or wander

Validation Therapy

Validation Therapy, by Naomi Feil, identifies several techniques to assist in communicating with those who have dementia. Not all techniques work, but some do. Use the preferred name. Never use pet names (honey, sweetie). Begin by calling the confused person by his or her title and last name, unless he or she

Validation: Building Trust with the Disoriented

In order to have a meaningful conversation with a confused person, it is essential to build trust into the relationship. Even though it is important not to directly correct the delusion, it is also important not to patronize, ridicule, lie or play along with a mistaken reality. On one level a confused person may realize

Prepare Before Communicating with the Confused

Communicating with someone who is confused can be frustrating.  And yet, somehow caregivers need to listen and speak in a way that builds trust and lowers anxiety.  Anxiety only heightens uncooperative, difficult behavior and impedes communication.  The goal is to provide as much quality of life as possible for the confused person by lowering the

The Four Stages of Resolution

Naomi Feil in her book The Validation Breakthrough identified four stages of resolution. People who suffer from cognitive impairment may progress through these four stages: 1) Malorientation, 2) Time Confusion, 3) Repetitive Motion, and 4) Vegetation. Feil believes people will “enter a period in their lives in which they feel the need to resolve unfinished

Communication with the Confused

Alzheimer’s disease is a catch all term today much like the older term “dementia.”  Some prefer to call it the “old-timer’s disease.” However, Alzheimer’s is a very specific disorder that cannot be accurately diagnosed until an autopsy is performed.  It is characterized by the presence of excessive neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in brain tissue. 

Validation at the Bus Stop

An example of Validation practiced by President Steve Jones while serving as Administrator in Chillicothe: Miss T. suffered from advanced Parkinson’s Disease and seemed confused at times. She was sitting in a wheelchair at the nurses station on a hot summer day when I walked by. She reached out, tugged on my suit coat and

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