Episode 263 - Dr. Nancy Kusmaul: Trauma-Informed Care in Residential Long-Term Care for Older Adults

Monday, May 06, 2019, 9:07:18 AM

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In this episode, our guest Dr. Nancy Kusmaul defines trauma-informed care within residential long-term care, and describes regulations that will soon require skilled nursing facilities receiving federal funding to incorporate trauma-informed principles into person-centered care. Dr. Kusmaul compares and contrasts how trauma-informed care is viewed in residential long-term care settings as opposed to other social work settings, and why trauma-informed care is critical when working with older adults. The episode concludes by emphasizing social work’s role in long-term care, and how social workers can create environments that eliminate or mitigate triggers that have the potential to cause re-traumatization.

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Average Rating: 4.8 stars (4 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  trauma-informed care in residential setting, Wednesday, February 10, 2021

By Christine Boyles :

I was very excited to listen to this podcast because my current field placement is at a nursing and rehabilitation facility. It was great to listen to Dr. Kusmaul’s perspective and learn what else I can do to use Trauma-Informed Care with the residents I work with. I was surprised to learn that trauma-informed care was introduced to long term care facilities in 2016, I assumed that it was the standard practice for social workers. Perhaps we assume it’s not necessary to use trauma-informed care with an elderly population because we think they have most likely learned to manage their symptoms already. However, I think many adults living in long-term care facilities have lost any sense of control which makes it essential to use a client-centered approach. Additionally, mental health was a taboo subject for individuals in older generations so many of these residents may have never addressed their trauma histories and may have developed maladaptive coping mechanisms in order to survive. Overall, Dr. Kusmaul did a great job articulating the need for using trauma-informed care in long-term care facilities and explaining how this type of approach is beneficial for the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the residents.

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Average Rating: 5stars  podcast review sw 521, Sunday, February 07, 2021

By Emily S :

First of all, I am very excited to see a topic such as this on the website. It is my goal to become a licensed social worker who works with older adults when I graduate, and I am glad to see a professional discussing trauma within this population, what it can look like or present as, and how it can be mitigated or decreased. I was unaware that Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) had been introduced to nursing homes in 2016 (2019 really, as the third wave was introduced that year).

I do agree with Dr. Kusmaul that these implementations are “an important first step” and that something is better than nothing. Historically, the older adult population in my opinion has fallen by the wayside and older adults have long been considered a burden at worst. So for such a person-centered initiative to be put in place, I feel like that is the governing bodies saying “older people do matter and we do need to start looking at things and improving them.” But as Dr. Kusmaul says, we still have a long way to go.

Dr. Kusmaul also mentions a good point when she states that traumatic experiences in older adults might not have even been addressed or acknowledged properly as there was a strong drive in the past to “be stoic” or take things “like a man.” Placing an importance on mental health was not emphasized, and many people did not even understand why importance should be placed on these topics. Loss of control of the individual when being placed in a nursing home is also essential to remember as well as Dr. Kusmaul mentions. This is why placing an emphasis on TIC, specifically the concept of “Choice” is even more important with this population and in institutions such as these in general.

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Average Rating: 4stars  trauma-informed-care, Saturday, February 08, 2020

By Latoya Thomas-Merchant :

This podcast on Trauma-Informed care for older adults in residential setting is very informative. It provides clarity and more understanding of trauma-informed care and what our elderly population may face in nursing homes. Trauma informed care for older adults living in residential setting are often times overlooked. Caregivers are more focused on providing physical care which does not necessarily provide the needs for trauma patients. Working in the health care field as a nursing assistant, I have patients that have been traumatize at some point in their lives causing them to develop PTSD. It is imperative to include trauma informed care into patient center care because it tries to address the needs of these individuals and equip the staff with knowledge and guidelines or procedures that would better aid patients. Dr. Kusmaul’s highlighted that health care setting can mimic previous traumatic experiences. This is a very interesting point being made because when an elderly person becomes less independent and living in a healthcare setting they feel powerless and may feel depress because of the loss of mobility and freedom. With that being said, caregivers should try to pay close attention to patients change in mood and by keeping residents fully engaged in daily activities.

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Average Rating: 5stars  older adults and trauma-informed care, Monday, May 06, 2019

By Anonymous :

Dr. Kusmaul addresses an issue, trauma-informed care in residential settings, especially significant to the aging baby boomers and their parents. Her straightforward manner and relevant examples highlight teaching and inter-professional research opportunities for social workers and other helping professionals. Further, Dr. Kusmaul's comments suggest the need to advocate for consumer-based changes to long-term care regulations so as to enhance the empowerment, dignity, and self-worth of residents.

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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.