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Celebrating the Life and Contributions of Naomi Feil

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Naomi Feil, the visionary creator behind Validation, a program that has played a crucial role in enhancing the lives of our residents at Meridian Senior Living. Her dedication and passion for senior care have left an indelible mark on our communities, and we are profoundly grateful for the invaluable partnership we shared.
The impact of her work resonates within the very fabric of our organization, and in 2023, Meridian Senior Living was named an Authorized Validation Organization, earning the seal of approval from Feil’s Validation Training Institute. Her unwavering commitment to the well-being of our residents and the training of our staff has been a guiding light, and we are honored to have been part of the journey she pioneered.
As we mourn her loss, we are committed to preserving and continuing her legacy. Our pledge is to uphold the principles and values she championed, ensuring that the program she so passionately crafted will endure for the benefit of our residents.
In the spirit of gratitude and remembrance, we invite you to read the below press release shared by VTI, which outlines the remarkable achievements and contributions she made to the field of senior care. 


December 26, 2024

Validation was a maverick concept back in the 1970s when Feil first proposed that caregivers ‘step into the world of the disoriented old-old’ and stop using reality orientation, diversion or lying. Her books, and workshops (she led over 1000 in the U.S. and 1000 in Europe) spread her messages: understand that there is a reason behind the behavior of disoriented older adults and use empathy to accompany them in their final stage of life. Her work inspired a new generation to work “person-centered.”

Validation began as the personal practice of a brilliant individual, Naomi Feil.  Feil, as a 4-year-old refugee from Nazi Germany, grew up in the Montefiore Home for the Aged in Cleveland Ohio, where her father was the administrator and her mother, the head of the Social Service Department. The older adults were her direct neighbors and friends. This gave Naomi unique empathy and insight into the world of disoriented elders which became the foundation stones for the Validation method.

Naomi Feil founded her non-profit organization, the Validation Training Institute (VTI) in 1982. Now there are 24 Validation training centers in 14 countries. Over 9,000 people are certified in the method. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Croat, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Slovak, Spanish, and Swedish. Feil has received honors from many institutions and countries who have embraced her humanistic concepts. Her TedTalk has been seen by thousands of views and her moving exchange with Gladys Wilson went viral.
VTI  is honoring her final wish, to continue her legacy with the same energy and passion that she demonstrated over 60 years.

Please see the In Memoriam web page to hear Naomi’s message to the community.

About Validation Training Institute:
The Validation Training Institute (VTI) is a non-profit organization that advances knowledge, values, education, and research rooted in the Validation method.  The objective is to nurture respect, dignity, and well-being in the lives of older adults experiencing age-related cognitive decline and their caregivers.  Our vision for the future is that every older adult experiencing age-related cognitive decline, and their caregiver, can feel the joy and love of meaningful communication.

Validation Training Institute Contact:
Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, Executive Director
Validation Training Institute
PO Box 871, Pleasant Hill, Oregon 97455

Come Celebrate With Us!