Episode 208 - Dr. Nancy Kusmaul and Lisa Kendall: Impacts of Trauma in Later Life

Monday, January 30, 2017, 7:45:29 AM

Image of Dr. Nancy Kusmaul and Lisa Kendall

In this episode, our guests Dr. Nancy Kusmaul and Lisa Kendall discuss the possible impacts of traumatic experiences as people transition into older adulthood. They describe specific applications of a trauma perspective with elders and what helping professionals might observe in their clients to warrant further assessment. Dr. Kusmaul and Ms. Kendall highlight the distinctive opportunities and manifestations for re-traumatization with the older adult population, and the trauma-informed care implications for organizations and caregivers serving older adults.

Download MP3 (28.8 MB)

Listener Reviews

3 Reviews
5 star:
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
Average Listener Review

Average Rating: 5 stars (3 listener reviews )

Share your thoughts with others

Create Your Own Review

Average Rating: 5stars  renewed interest, Sunday, February 05, 2017

By Sara :

A variety of points that were made during this discussion were thought evoking. One of the first points being that elder hood should be viewed as the individual having a broad range of knowledge to share. I found this to be a wonderful way to view later life because it is often viewed as the end. Elders have experienced a wide variety of situations, so they can share their methods of coping and knowledge gained. This mindset puts the elder in a position of power when they often feel they are losing control.
This relates to a point that was made later in the discussion regarding elder hood as a time of growth and healing. I found this perspective to be refreshing because I believe healing can occur at every age. Social workers can assist elders in their healing while focusing on the strengths of the individual. I am a firm believer that attitude is everything, meaning if we have a positive outlook on life then the quality of our life will be better.
This podcast gave me further confirmation that I chose the right field to practice in. Social work is a way of life and attending the University at Buffalo has provided me with priceless tools to assist clients to the best of my ability. I believe taking a trauma informed approach to healing is brilliant and should be used universally. This podcast has furthered my interest in the trauma informed approach and ways in which trauma impacts individuals.

Flag This


Average Rating: 5stars  self care, Saturday, February 04, 2017

By Catherine :

I really appreciated this podcast. It was very informative and talking about a population that I feel is sometimes forgotten about. As a future social worker and working in a nursing home right now, I see the toll that this work takes on people. Not just the social workers that work there but the CNAs and families as well, who might not be aware of how important self care really is. It is critical that one takes time for themselves, so that they are able to take care of someone else and give their 100%. I also think that the CNAs should be aware of trauma informed care and the different models that are out there to care for people in elderhood. You never know someone's story when you look at them so it is important to know to say "what happened to you?" and not "what's wrong with you?" It is also important to recognize that people can be traumatized at every age and that issues can be equally as important for the eldery as they are with someone who is younger. I would suggest this podcast to anyone who is interested in working with the elderly because it is super informative as well as an easy listen.

Flag This


Average Rating: 5stars  elderhood, Wednesday, February 01, 2017

By Brianna :

This is a great podcast to bring awareness to social work professionals and care providers, especially whom may work or want to work with individuals in their elderhood. Understanding a Life Span Approach that Kusmaul and Kendall mentioned would be beneficial for practitioners to integrate with a Trauma Informed Perspective. Knowing that while working with individuals in their elderhood, past trauma may not have been dealt with or talked about until the present moment in their lives, and to be aware of that to avoid retraumatization can save someone from wanting to avoid care from any other provider. It was mentioned that elderhood is a time of growth and a great time for healing so that when their time on earth does come to an end, they have a sense of closure. I really like that approach to dealing with trauma because so many people look at their elders as being so fragile almost so that it translates into a mental fragility concept and that is really far from most cases from what I heard. It is critical that providers and practitioners are mindful when working with the elderly because the challenge of aging may bring up past challenges, also mentioned. Always using a Strengths Based Perspective can give individuals the tools for coping, no matter what age. I appreciate the advice on working with elders and learning about the person directed movement that is going on within nursing homes. I agree it is my job as a future licensed social worker to educate and bring awareness to people on trauma and trauma informed care along with the education and awareness that not all healing comes from medical solutions but can come from more simpler things. Thank you for the knowledge!

Flag This

DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.