Editor’s Note: The Validation Training Institute (VTI) Board is comprised of 10 people. The VTI would not be where it is today without the support of our hardworking board members. We will be spotlighting our members in our monthly blogs
Charles de Vilmorin, Board member since 2015
CDV: I am the CEO & Co-Founder of Linked Senior; we build therapeutic engagement software for senior care.
VTI: How did you first learn about Validation?
CDV: Through my interactions with Rita Altman, I heard of Naomi Feil and the effectiveness of the method. Being passionate about our older adults, especially the ones with cognitive change, I ordered and read books and had the opportunity to be trained as a Validation Worker in 2013.
VTI: Was there a specific moment when you first realized Validation worked? If so, what was that moment?
CDV: I strongly believe in the power of empathy and that training, technique and patience can help us connect one another so I felt very much in tune with the method from the start.
The true revelation for me was during my training as a Validation Worker. We had to train with older adults living at different stages of dementia. One of the sessions started in a quite challenging way as I could not connect with the person: She was curled up in her wheelchair, gazing behind me. Gradually, by matching her rocking movement with my body and voice tone, she started humming. Coming back a few days later, she started humming again just as I started talking and after a few sessions, we had intense eye contact which brought a smile to both of us. She never spoke but I knew that we connected – that moment seemed infinite. The Validation Method helps us have infinite moments with our elders.
VTI: How long have you served on the board?
CDV: 2 years
VTI: What do you enjoy most about serving on the board?
CDV: Serving on the board is an honor for me and a way to fuel the passion that I have for the older adult. I feel we have an incredibly strong team who share common values and dedication. Putting these to work is as exciting as the opportunities that lie ahead.
VTI: What the most important thing Validation has taught you?
CDV: I think Validation keeps on reminding me that even at the very late stages of life, with the proper method, patience & empathy, there is always a way to connect with someone, share love and experience togetherness as humans. I feel this is deeply encouraging and exciting.
VTI: So, where do you live now?
CDV: We live downtown Washington DC, in Dupont Circle
VTI: What do you like to do when you are not working?
CDV: I enjoy running long distances (sometimes, very long: 100 mile race completed this year😉), cooking, science fiction – but above all spending time with my wife and three daughters and soon a son!!!
VTI: Thank you Charles for serving on the board!