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Validation an Important Piece of Company’s Unique Approach to Older Adult Care

CEO: ‘I truly don’t think I would be working in the field of long-term care…if I had not run across Naomi Feil.”

When it comes to caring for older adults, Scott Averill is not afraid to think outside the box.

Along with his wife, Susan, Averill is CEO and co-owner of three Kansas-based older adult communities: Brookside Retirement Community (Overbrook), Wellsville Retirement Community (Wellsville) and The Fields of Brookside (a memory care home that offers a safe environment for six residents living with dementia). All told, he has spent more than two decades working in older adult care communities.

Scott Averill
Scott Averill

Their 200-plus staff members comfort and care for approximately 170 older-adult residents.

As an owner, he has focused on creating success with his staff and residents through participation in (sometimes) unorthodox endeavors, such as hot air balloon rides, skydiving escapades, flying in a twin-engine plane and taking trips to Vegas to see Cirque du Soleil.

“We keep prodding ourselves to think ‘out-of-the-box’ so that we can create an on-going culture of aliveness and vitality,” Scott said. “It serves us well in that we don’t have census issues. We often run full with a waiting list of people wanting to move in.”

He’s not always unconventional, though, as evidenced by his support of the Validation Training Institute’s “I Validate to Connect” campaign earlier this fall. Scott donated $500 to the campaign that raised seed funding money for a Validation Method study.

“Philanthropic work that truly makes a difference is critically important,” Scott said. “I got involved with “I Validate to Connect” because of the profound difference that Naomi and her work have made in my life and my career.”

Scott said he has been a practitioner of Validation since the first time he saw Naomi lead a full-day workshop in 1991.

“I have led Validation groups off and on for more than 25 years,” he said. “I have hosted Naomi numerous times over the past 25 years and in 1996, we hosted the first-ever International Validation Symposium in Kansas City, Kan.  I also served on the VTI Board of Directors for about 15 years.”

In other words, Scott has made Validation a core part of his professional life.

“Scott has supported Naomi Feil and VTI in so many ways,” said Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, VTI Executive Director. “He’s been running Validation groups, training his staff, hosting workshops and worked as a board trustee for decades. That kind of engagement is exactly what VTI needs most and is the reason why our organization has lasted all these years.”

In turn, Scott said he is grateful for what Validation has done for him.

“I truly don’t think I would be working in the field of long-term care for 27 years if I had not run across Naomi Feil,” he said. “My ability to connect with all people—but especially our confused elders—is both a privilege and ongoing inspiration that keeps me motivated to keep serving in a very challenging and rewarding career.”

Thank you Scott!