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Second Speakers Series a Success!

A Better Way to Communicate with Disoriented Elderly People

On the 23rd of January, the Geneva Library Foundation Board, welcomed Jo Letwiatis, a Geneva resident and president of the Senior Site, for the second presentation in the new Speaker Series.

The hearty souls that braved the frigid temperature were treated to an informative and interactive presentation from Letwaitis. She is a woman who is passionate about senior care from both a personal and professional perspective.

Jo Speaking

With compassion and a sense of humor, Letwaitis discussed the Validation Method of communicating with and helping disoriented elderly people. It is a practical way of connecting with them that helps reduce stress, enhance dignity and increase happiness. Validation is built on an empathetic attitude and a holistic view of individuals. When one can "step into the shoes" of another human being and "see through their eyes," one can step into the world of disoriented people and understand the meaning of their sometimes bizarre behavior.

As more and more of our population moves into their senior years, many of us are challenged to understand and cope with the issues of aging. It is important to understand this stage of life whether we have older family members or friends and perhaps, even if we are seniors ourselves. It is critical that we have the knowledge and the tools that we need to navigate its transitions well. The golden years of life can in fact be rich with meaning and connection, if we approach them with confidence and compassion.

Letwaitis is committed to educating elders and their loved ones about their senior living options. She has a private practice, working with families, senior living communities and seniors, helping all involved in working with the elderly to improve their dementia communication skills. More information can be found at and Letwaitis is passionate about sharing the best ways of communicating with those afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s. She is one of approximately 500 Certified Validation Workers in the United States.

Our next Speaker Series event will be on Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00 PM. Our featured speakers are Geneva residents Loy and Linda Williams. They will share their personal story of MLK and the struggle for civil rights. Watch this site for more details to come soon.

The Geneva Library Foundation was established in 2005 as a charitable organization to provide support for current and future library materials, services and facilities. It is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. With a goal of raising $1 million by 2016 and $2 million by 2021, the GLF is committed to providing a substantial, permanent, and stable source of funds to support the Geneva Public Library.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Wade, 708-989-4439,