Editor’s note: Thanks to Jackie Schoenbaum, CVW for sharing her touching story with us and giving us permission to post it on our blog.
In 2009 my Dad began showing some serious signs of dementia. By September of that year he was diagnosed with early dementia. I moved him to assisted living after his forgetting to take his medication landed him in the hospital. By 2014 he was in the second phase, time-confused. Eventually I had to place him in a memory care lock down unit. They would only keep him there if he was medicated for paranoia and hallucinations leading to disturbances.
My heart sunk. I was frustrated and didn’t know where to turn. I was ready to start medication for my own anxiety. Instead I found a link to #Validation on the Alzheimer’s website. I purchased every book available by #Naomi Feil and Vicki de Klerk-Rubin. I begin using Validation with my father. My anxiety completely disappeared. I began enjoying my visits with my Dad.
After a couple of months I signed up for a 10 month course to become a #Certified Validation Worker. My relationship with my Dad was fantastic. We went out to lunch every Thursday. And best of all I was able to wean him off all his medication.
Then in late February his physical health took a turn. He was 97. He was on a steady decline battling with pneumonia. He passed away April 21, 2015.
The aim of Validation is for one to die in peace. I can honestly tell you that my Dad had a peaceful death. In the weeks before he died his caregivers commented on how peaceful he was. I was with him when he died as I said prayers for him. Death is never a pleasant experience but with Dad it was really beautiful.
I am so thankful for having the opportunity to use Validation with my Dad.
I was half way through the course when he passed away. What to do? Should I continue? I had made wonderful relationships with other clients so I decided to pursue finishing the Validation Worker course. I completed the course and have received my certificate. My future in Validation is unclear but I plan to volunteer my time with those in need, hopefully with other adult children of parents with dementia.