Person-centred care validates the emotions of people living with dementia.
The Oxford English Dictionary has a lovely description of validation as "recognition or affirmation that a person or their feeling or opinions are worthwhile". For example, when someone is telling us a long story, we might nod our head or say mm along the way. When you think about it, you're doing this to show the person that you are listening and that what they say is worthwhile - and it also sends a message that the person themselves are worth listening to. That's a form of validating. We want to take that idea and 'dial it up' for people living with dementia.
One of the cornerstones of person-centred care is seeing the world from the perspective of the person living with dementia. We can recognise and affirm their feelings and subjective experience. This can help us to understand why the individual is responding to the situation the way that they are, and what is being communicated (Brooker, 2004).