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2014 Press Releases

How song and movement help dementia…

16 May 2014
Dr Jacqui O'Riordan co-organiser with Dr Mark Tyrrell of the dementia workshop

The numbers of people living with dementia worldwide is growing and, all over the world, its onset is often accompanied with fear and misunderstanding.

As the illness progresses, memory is increasingly impaired and one’s behaviour can become erratic and unpredictable. This, then often leads to increased isolation and frustration for those affected and their carers.

Unfortunately, this has sometimes resulted in a poor understanding of dementia and of those living with it. The Validation approach is a way of supporting and communicating with older people who have dementia. It focuses on people in later stages of dementia and makes use of sensory methods of communication; touch, song, movement etc, to build relationships and connect with the interests people had and the activities they engaged in at earlier times in their lives, when they were more able to be actively engaged in all aspects of their lives.

UCC are delighted to host a Validation workshop with the founder of Validation, Mrs Naomi Feil, on Friday 30th May, 2014 at the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC. This is the first such workshop to be held in Ireland and it is Mrs Feil’s first visit to Cork, so it is a workshop not to be missed. During the course of the workshop delegates will have a unique opportunity to hear about the Validation approach and ask questions of its founder.

The following is an extract from the Validation Institute which gives an overview of its orientation and focus:

Validation is a method of communicating with and helping disoriented very old people. It is a practical way of working that helps reduce stress, enhance dignity and happiness. Validation is built on an empathetic attitude and a holistic view of individuals. When one can “step into the shoes” of another human being and “see through their eyes”, one can step into the world of disoriented very old people and understand the meaning of their sometimes bizarre behaviour… Using Validation techniques we offer disoriented elderly an opportunity to express what they wish to express whether it is verbal or non-verbal communication. Validation practitioners are caring, non-judgemental and open to the feelings that are expressed. When disoriented elderly can express emotions that they have often suppressed for many years, the intensity of the feelings lessen, people communicate more and are less likely to withdraw into further stages of disorientation.

The programme for the day is a very full one, with registration from 9.00am and the workshop proper, commencing at 9.30am.

The School of Applied Social Studies, College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Medicine and Heath, UCC, are supporting the workshop as are the Oak Lodge Nursing Home, Cloyne, Co. Cork, Cork Carers Association and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

The workshop is open to medical and social care professionals and students – The Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) had approved 5.5 CPD points for participants. It is also open to family carers and all those who are interested in the area.

Workshop fees are as follows: €50 professionals; €10 student/carer

Places are Limited and Advance booking is required to secure a place

Detailed information and registration details are available at the workshop webpage:

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF