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Article updated: 1/14/2013 4:49 PM

Geneva library program to give tips on communicating with disoriented seniors

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Submitted by Geneva Library Foundation

The Geneva Library Foundation Speaker Series will feature "The Validation Method: A Better Way to Communicate with Disoriented Elderly People." The program will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the meeting room at the Geneva Public Library, 127 James St.

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Jo Letwaitis, a Geneva resident, will discuss the Validation Method of communicating with and helping disoriented elderly people. It is a practical way of connecting with them that helps reduce stress, enhance dignity and increase 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 people and understand the meaning of their sometimes bizarre behavior.

As president of The Senior Site, Letwaitis is committed to educating elders and their loved ones about their senior living options. She has a private practice, working with families, senior living communities and seniors, helping all involved in working with the elderly to improve their dementia communication skills. More information can be found at www.theseniorsite.com and www.vfvalidation.org. Letwaitis is passionate about sharing the best ways of communicating with those afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She is one of approximately 500 Certified Validation Workers in the United States.

As more and more of the population moves into their senior years, many people are challenged to understand and cope with the issues of aging. It is important to understand this stage of life whether you have older family members or friends and perhaps, even if you are senior yourself. It is critical to have the knowledge and tools to navigate its transitions well. The golden years of life can, in fact, be rich with meaning and connection, if you approach them with confidence and compassion.

The evening will include a short reception, introduction of the Geneva Library Foundation, the presentation of the speaker, and a question-and-answer session. Refreshments will be served. This is a free event. Reservations are not required, but are suggested. You can register by visiting website www.genevalibraryfoundation.org.

The Geneva Library Foundation was established in 2005 as a charitable organization to provide support for current and future library materials, services and facilities. It is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. With a goal of raising $1 million by 2016 and $2 million by 2021, the foundation is committed to providing a substantial, permanent, and stable source of funds to support the Geneva Public Library.

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