Validation and reality orientation

Validation and reality orientation describe two different approaches to supporting a person with dementia.

In situations where interactions between staff and the person with dementia include questions, scenarios or information that is challenging for staff to communicate, staff would usually adopt one of these approaches.

Both approaches have positive and negative aspects to them, and many people hold strong views about which approach they prefer.

Some health and social care organisations have specific policies that relate the approach that staff should use, and staff should always be aware of any such guidance.


Contents of this mini book:

  • An individual situation - two different approaches
  • The history of validation and reality orientation approaches
  • Validation - the definition
  • What is validation therapy?
  • What does validation mean in practical terms?
  • Benefits and drawbacks of validation
  • Reality orientation - the definition
  • What is reality orientation?
  • What does reality orientation mean in practical terms?
  • Benefits and drawbacks of reality orientation
  • Making a choice
  • How do you make a choice
  • If the person was making the choice
  • Reflecting on your choice
  • Forming an opinion
  • References and resources