The Jewish Federations of North America’s Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma is pleased to announce publication of resource guide on delivering trauma-informed care to Holocaust survivors and older adults with a history of trauma.
The guide, titled “Aging with a History of Trauma: Strategies to Provide Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed Care to Older Adults and Family Caregivers,” serves as an essential resource for everyone working and volunteering in the US aging services sector on how to deliver person-centered, trauma-informed care to Holocaust survivors, older adults with a history of trauma, and family caregivers.
It was created through a grant from the US Administration for Community Living. You can read the full report here, and a summary below.
Trauma plays a significant role in how Americans age. By the time Americans reach older adulthood, most have experienced one or more traumatic events. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 90% of American older adults will have experienced a traumatic event such as violence, disaster, or war. This trauma exposure can leave indelible scars that last a lifetime, impacting an individual’s health and well-being as they age. While trauma exposure can result in resilience in aging, it can also be the root cause of a variety of physical and mental health conditions that complicate the aging process and make family caregiving even more challenging. As the population of Americans aged 65 and older increases, it is imperative that trauma is reconceptualized as a life course issue that can and must be addressed in the aging services sector.
Given the role of trauma in aging, a new approach to service provision has been developed called person-centered, trauma-informed (PCTI) care. PCTI care is a holistic approach to service provision that promotes the dignity, strength, and empowerment of individuals with a history of trauma by incorporating knowledge about the role of trauma into agency programs, policies, and procedures. This approach to service delivery was introduced in 2015 by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) and The Jewish Federations’ Center on Holocaust Survivor Care.
To date, The Jewish Federations Center has awarded subgrants to 87 organizations that have developed over 500 innovative PCTI projects in areas of mental health, socialization, family caregiver support, physical wellness, and PCTI training. These projects have served approximately 45,000 Holocaust survivors, 10,000 older adults with a history of trauma, and 7,000 family caregivers; and trained approximately 20,000 professional service providers and volunteers. Results of these projects show the effectiveness of the PCTI approach in improving social connection, health, and wellbeing of older adults with a history of trauma and their family caregivers.
To address the role of trauma, Jewish Federations’ Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma (Center) developed the person-centered, trauma-informed (PCTI) approach to care for older adults in partnership with the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL). After learning best practices from hundreds of local PCTI projects and experts in the field of aging and trauma, the Center produced national guidance on PCTI care for the aging services sector.
‘Aging with a History of Trauma’ serves as an essential resource for anyone working and volunteering in the US aging services sector. This guide includes an overview of the role of trauma in aging, how the PCTI approach can help, and how organizations, professionals, and volunteers can take steps to improve PCTI service delivery. Improving the availability, access, and quality of PCTI care requires all those involved in aging services to work together regardless of sector, geography, professional specialization, or seniority. Doctors, nurses, advocates, government officials, social workers, transportation workers, lawyers, policy makers, funders, philanthropists, and researchers all have a vital role to play.
You can read the full report here.