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Hands-on Dementia

Hands-on Dementia was developed to allow caregivers, staff and/or family members to connect deeper with people who have been diagnosed with dementia. It is based on the principles of Hand Reflexology and Validation. (Validation, created by Naomi Feil, is a way of communicating with people who are living with dementia.)

Caregivers have reported that Hands-on Dementia has helped reduce anxiety, induce better sleep, and improve relations between the caregiver and person living with dementia.  Nursing home staff found that Hands-on Dementia may reduce the amount of pain medications some residents take as well as help residents adjust easier to a new facility. 

Our Team


Oran Aviv


Oran is the creator and founder of Hands-on Dementia. She has been a reflexologist for 25 years and has worked with people living with dementia for 15 years. Oran is a Certified Validation Teacher. 


Oran teaches Hands-on Dementia workshops around the world to staff at senior facilities and nursing homes.  She is the recipient of the 2018 Geller Prize for her volunteer work training foreign live-in caregivers of people living with dementia.


Oran loves being out in nature and hikes and runs on trails whenever she has some free time. Oran enjoys Musical Theater and has choreographed for community theater productions.

Nancy Brown


Nancy is a Certified Validation Teacher and has worked  over 17 years with persons living with dementia. She is  a PhD candidate in Dementia Care at the University of Edinburgh, and a member of ECRED (Edinburgh Center for the Research of the Experience of Dementia).  


Other professional experience includes:

  • A certified instructor for NCCAP (National Certification Council for Activity Professionals) and teaches their online course on Validation

  • Executive Committee for Non-Pharmacological Intervention research group of the Alzheimer’s Association International. 

  • Deputy Director for Communication for Validation Training Institute (VTI) 

  • Teaches courses and webinars for VTI as well as private organizations.

Between her work, doctorate and taking care of her 5 dogs Nancy is pretty busy these days!

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