Dr. Naomi Feil and Validation Therapy

A few years back, PHC hosted a webinar featuring the highly respected gerontologist Dr. Naomi Feil. Now in her 90s, Dr. Feil has gained international acclaim for her groundbreaking work in the development of Validation Therapy. This simple yet innovative approach stimulates people experiencing cognitive decline and their caregivers to partake in deeper, more meaningful communication.

In this webinar, Dr. Feil explains Validation in her own words and provides helpful tips for families and caregivers. 

What is Validation Therapy?

The intent of Validation Therapy extends beyond merely relieving stress; it’s about enhancing dignity and instilling happiness, joy, and comfort. By creating a supportive and empathetic environment, the Validation method facilitates the expression of feelings and experiences, contributing to more enriched interactions between caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The result in better mood. In this webinar, Dr. Feil explains Validation in her own words and provides helpful tips for families and caregivers. Since its inception, Validation has been used around the world to help people.

Who is Naomi Feil?

Born in Munich, Germany in 1932, Naomi Feil was raised in the Montefiore Home for the Aged in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents’ roles there, with her mother heading the Social Service Department and her father serving as the administrator, made her childhood environment deeply immersive in elderly care. This early exposure provided her with a unique perspective and a profound understanding of the challenges faced by the elderly, and it was instrumental in shaping her future contributions in gerontology.

Feil furthered her expertise by earning a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in the 1970s. Her solid academic foundation and empathetic understanding primed her to make a significant impact in her field.

In an era when cognitive impairments and dementia were often misunderstood, Feil became a trailblazer. She pioneered a compassionate, holistic approach known as Validation Therapy. This innovative method prioritizes empathy and creates avenues for individuals with cognitive deficits and dementia to communicate more effectively. Her approach was groundbreaking and it revolutionized the way we understand and provide care for people with cognitive impairments and dementia today. Through her work, Feil not only advanced the field of gerontology, but also created a lasting legacy in the realm of elderly care.

In conclusion, the Validation method, specially designed for older adults with cognitive decline, encourages increased communication, aids in stress reduction, and promotes dignity and happiness. This method enhances the quality of life and overall mood by stimulating interaction and fostering a supportive, serene environment. 

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