(July 21, 2011): Are you or a loved one or friend faced with the challenge of living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia? Ever wish there were more tools for communication? Do you ask yourself question “How will I stay connected to my Mom or Dad, brother or sister, dear friend or patient if they receive this diagnosis?

The Center for Compassionate Touch® has teamed up with with Naomi Feil and Michael Verde for an inspiring weekend at the Embassy Suites Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio, August 12-14, 2011 to teach caregivers of all kinds how to strengthen their ability to communicate with and serve those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

The goal of the organizers of Listening With Love is to bring together health-care professionals and caregivers to not only learn but also to network and build community with each other. “Serving this special population is in many ways a calling, and it is imperative to our self-care to seek-out and join forces with other like minded people-not only for education, but also for support” states Lisa Curran Parenteau, Marketing and Training consultant for the Center for Compassionate Touch.

Michel Verde, Executive Director of Memory Bridge believes “This seminar will be a deep dive into the emotional and spiritual spaces within and between us. We are going to cross into the real frontier of our collective belonging: Inner space. Naomi Feil is the pioneer of communicating with people with dementia. The rest of us are following a trail she forged.”

Although Naomi Feil hails from Cleveland, this is a rare appearance by Feil, who is usually traveling in Europe and Asia teaching and presenting to audiences about Validation Communication. Validation is a method of communicating with and helping disoriented very old people. It is a practical way of working that helps reduce stress, enhance dignity and increase happiness. Validation is built on an empathetic attitude and a holistic view of individuals.

The event will begin with a cocktail reception on Friday night. A focal point of the weekend will be the 1-day workshop on the Principles of Validation Communication with founder Naomi Feil. CEs are available for Massage Therapists, and through a recent collaboration, we are pleased to announce that the Hospice of the Western Reserve is offering 7 CEs to Nurses, Social Workers and Counselors.

Another highlight of Listening With Love will be the Keynote presentation, We are the Bridges, by Michael Verde during the Saturday dinner gala.


The cost for the weekend is $149 for Compassionate Touch® Practitioners and Instructors and $199 for all other attendees. Your registration fee includes 7-10 CE hours for Massage Therapists, Nurses, Social Workers and Counselors, Friday evening reception and Saturday Dinner gala. You can register on line at www.compassionate-touch.org/naomi

About the Center for Compassionate Touch LLC:

Compassionate Touch® is a hands-on complementary approach for those in eldercare, hospice and palliative care. More than a set of techniques and skills, it is a whole new way of thinking that will help you bring true change to the lives of people for whom caring touch is just a memory. Compassionate Touch® combines one-on-one focused touch and sensitive massage with specialized communication skills to help enhance quality of life for those in later life stages. The Center for Compassionate Touch LLC, founded in 2002, offers training and consulting services for massage therapists and health-care professionals on integrating the use of sensitive massage and focused touch into clinical settings. Please visit www.compassionate-touch.org info about their work and service offerings.

Naomi Feil, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., is the developer of Validation. She was born in Munich in 1932, and 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. After graduating with a Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York, she began working with the elderly. Between 1963 and 1980 Mrs. Feil developed Validation as a response to her dissatisfaction with traditional methods of working with the severely disoriented old-old people who were her clients. In 1982 she published her first book, Validation: The Feil Method, which was revised in 1992. Her second book, The Validation Breakthrough, was published in 1993, and updated and revised in 2002. Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, Italian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Spanish and Japanese. You can find our more about Naomi Feil and Validation at www.vfvalidation.org

Michael Verde is the president of the Memory Bridge Foundation. Since 2005, the award-winning Memory Bridge Initiative has connected over 2,500 students in Chicago with 2,5000 residents with dementia living in long-term care communities. Michael is the executive producer of the PBS documentary, There Is a Bridge. Michael has two masters degrees: one in literary studies from the University of Iowa, and one in theology from the University of Durham, England, from which he graduated at the top of his international class. Michael is a gifted teacher, public speaker, and social entrepreneur. He currently speaks across the country on the subjects of world religions, literature, and communicating with people with dementia. You can find out more about Memory Bridge at www.memorybridge.org.

For more information about this event or The Center for Compassionate Touch LLC, please contact Lisa Curran Parenteau at 617-797-7990 or email Lisa at lisa@compassionate-touch.org