In celebration of GivingTuesday on November 30, 2020, Meridian Senior Living’s more than 50 communities hosted a Meridian Art Gallery and Auction as part of a fundraiser for the Validation Training Institute (VTI) and its work to train and educate people on effective communication techniques with residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia. Through this community service effort led by residents, Meridian communities raised almost $3,000 for VTI.
Raising awareness and funds, each Meridian community hosted an Artist Gallery and Reception featuring resident-created artwork for sale in an auction during Active Aging Week, October 4-10, 2021. Auction funds raised on-site were directly donated to VTI by each community and all other out-of-town auction winners submitted donations using VTI’s dedicated GoFundMe page. In addition to the Meridian community-based artist galleries, each community showcased a selection of the resident-created art pieces on their respective community Facebook page.
GivingTuesday is a “Global Generosity Movement” that urges people and organizations to donate time, funds, or offer a voice about a significant cause in their local community to make a positive impact. GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 as a simple idea of instituting one day for people to give back to their local or global community. Today, it has grown into a global undertaking including hundreds of millions of participants inspired to celebrate generosity. Meridian Senior Living has chosen to support VTI for GivingTuesday after years of seeing VTI’s methodology greatly benefit its residents.
“I have personally experienced the positive impact on thousands of people’s lives when caregivers implement Validation Techniques,” said Kevin Carlin, Owner, Meridian Senior Living and Volunteer Board Member for VTI. “Through VTI’s work globally, increasingly more people have enhanced personal interactions with people with dementia.”
Founded by Naomi Feil in 1983, VTI is a U.S.-based, not-for-profit organization that offers progressively developed certification levels and training programs in addition to a network of national and regional Validation organizations to disseminate information, train interested individuals, and maintain the Validation Method, a distinct way of communicating with those with dementia. VTI’s ultimate objective is to “nurture respect, dignity and well-being in the lives of older adults experiencing age related decline and their caregivers.” Validation is a method of communicating with and helping cognitively impaired seniors. It helps reduce stress, enhances dignity and promotes happiness. Built on an empathetic and holistic approach, Validation asks caregivers to ‘step into the shoes’ of those with dementia and ‘see through their eyes’ to understand the meaning of their often-complex behaviors. This method allows seniors the opportunity to express, both verbal and non-verbal, their often-suppressed feelings and needs.