Naomi Feil, founder of the Validation Institute, will teach validation therapy at a free workshop set for Thur., Nov. 8.

Practiced in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, the Validation Method improves communication between caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Sponsored by the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass (NHOA) the workshop will take place from 9-4 p.m. Nov. 8 at Immanuel Baptist Church, 3100 Tates Creek Road.

Registration is required for the six-hour training session, which is free and open to the public. Registration deadline is Nov. 7.

The Validation Method accepts that the dementia sufferer’s retreat into the past is not due to mental illness or disease; it’s about survival. A gerontologist and social worker, Feil developed the therapy over a period of 17 years out of her dissatisfaction with traditional methods of working with severely disoriented old people. Through it, the caregiver learns to understand and interpret the dementia sufferer’s words and actions. Numerous studies have shown that Validation reduces stress for caregivers while enhancing dignity and happiness for patients, according to Feil.

“In old age, people can survive through hindsight,” Feil explains on her website. “When eyes fail, they see with their mind’s eye. When hearing fails, they hear sounds from the past. They see childhood scenes when recent memory and friends die. They restore the past to relive good times and resolve the bad in this final struggle to find peace.”

“The Validation Workshop is geared toward personal and professional caregivers of individuals with dementia,” said event coordinator Holsclaw, a regional ombudsman with NHOA.

More than 10,000 dementia care communities on four continents practice validation therapy. Nearly 90,000 people around the world have attended validation workshops. In Kentucky, approximately 50 percent of nursing home residents have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

Social work continuing education units (CEUs) are available for $25, payable at the door with cash or check; approval for nursing and long-term care administrator CEUs is pending.

NHOA, a non-profit based in Lexington, serves residents of long-term care facilities. Through its team of 30 local ombudsmen and the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the organization improves the quality of care for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Contact Holsclaw at or 859-277-9215 with workshop questions and to register by Nov. 7.