Can someone voluntarily stop being gentle?


The Naomi Feil validation was developed for old people from around 80 years of age with late-onset Alzheimer's dementia. Validation is particularly useful for these people, as it is often also about coming to terms with life events. If an old person with dementia suddenly thinks he is seeing the deceased mother, this may not only be an effect of Alzheimer's disease, but also an indication that the loss of the mother has not yet been fully dealt with. Especially people who have not learned effective strategies during their active life to deal with losses - e.g. from loved ones or the health of their body - benefit later from validation. In general, validation helps people who:

  • are very old (over 80)
  • have denied serious crises all their lives
  • Hold on to outdated roles (e.g. parent role, world of work ...)
  • Have impaired brain, vision or hearing
  • have limited mobility and emotional control as well as poor short-term memory


Validation also offers advantages for relatives and caregivers. They learn to accept old people better and to recognize the background to behavior that is "annoying" for them. The empathic, judgment-free attitude that is taught in validation is also helpful in many other situations in life.